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French Fan. Early Louis XVI. Skin 
painted with much spirit in rich colours on a 
silver ground Subject : " La Servante Maitresse." 
The sticks elaborately carved and gilded, five 
shades of gold being used. 

M. Duvelleroy. 











First published in 1920 

(All rights reserved) 


To the collector fans offer a very wide field, and 
the subject is one round which much romance 
and history has centred. 

" Since summer first was leafy " man has 
instinctively reached for a branch of a tree or 
a large leaf to dispel the heated air and ward off 
flies, and early in the stages of dawning civiliza- 
tion, even among quite primitive peoples, has 
come the practice of elaborating and making 
more permanent these simple fans placed ready 
by Nature. 

A complete collection of every kind, if such 
were made, would include examples from every 
period of history and every part of the world, 
but it would be too vast to be really understood 
by any one person. While many examples of 
savage workmanship would be of absorbing 
interest to the anthropologist, and others, archaic 
in design though exquisite in execution, to the 
archaeologist, the fans used in Europe during 
the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth cen- 
turies would afford the chief attraction to most 
fan collectors. 

As it is for them this book is written, I have 



not included more than a passing reference to 
any fans earlier than the sixteenth century. 
The fans of primitive peoples are entirely omitted. 
Oriental fans are so interesting and the subject 
so vast that they would need a volume of equal 
size to this to do them justice, so they, too, are 
not included. 

The chief portion of the book is taken up with 
the folding fans used in Europe in the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries. Not only the fans 
themselves are described, but the methods used 
in their manufacture at that time, and the 
materials of which they were made, which will 
help collectors to judge of the genuineness or 
otherwise of specimens offered to them, and give 
an added interest to the study of those they 
already own. The mere possession of a number 
of objects of the same kind gives a very poor 
kind of pleasure compared with that of finding 
out the history of each example, the acquisition 
of others to fill gaps, the weeding out of undesir- 
ables, and the general knowledge of all that 
belongs to the subject. 

It has been said that nowadays " to collect 
fans one must be a millionaire or a burglar." 
If the object of a collector were the attainment 
in a short time of a large collection of the finest 
and choicest examples, this is no doubt true. 
If, on the other hand, the desire is to pursue a 
most interesting quest, and in the end to achieve 
a small cabinet of representative fans, each having 


some significance and typical of some country 
or period, it is, even in these days, emphatically 
a mistaken idea. 

It is not always the fan which has the most 
highly stippled and finished leaf and the most 
gold on the sticks which is of the highest value 
to the real fan lover, a fact that makes it possible 
to attain desirable specimens otherwise unavail- 
able. There may be more of historical signifi- 
cance and value in a printed fan than in one 
painted by a 'prentice hand, another fact not 
always understood. 

Really fine fans, however, are a class by them- 
selves. They are " pearls of great price," and 
few will fail to appreciate them when met with. 
If, however, much search does not meet with 
success, surely the pleasure of the quest has been 
great. " To travel hopefully is better than to 


I MOST gratefully acknowledge the help received from 
various sources, especially the under-mentioned : 

The Authorities of the Victoria and Albert Museums for 
the beautiful photographs which they have had specially 
made for me and permission to use the most excellent 
copyright photographs. (Plates XIII and XXVII.) The 
Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum 
for facilities for photographing examples in the Schreiber 
Collection. The Representatives of the Executors of the 
late Lady Charlotte Schreiber for permission to reproduce 
certain illustrations from " Fans and Fan Leaves." Francis 
Edwards, Esq., M.A., Clerk to the Worshipful Company of 
Fan Makers, for kindly allowing me to examine the books 
of the Company and other assistance. Mons. Duvelleroy 
for the loan of many interesting photographs and other 
kind help, and the many collectors who have allowed me to 
examine and describe specimens in their collections. 



PREFACE . . . . . .7 


LIST OF PLATES . . . ' . .13 







MARKET . . .. . . 199 

V. STICKS . . . . . . 211 


SIGNERS . . . . . 269 



GLOSSARY ..... 313 

INDEX ...... 341 






(2) TOILET SCENE . . .25 





NYMPHS . . . . . 51 



PLATE II . . i . . 63 

PLATE III . . i" . '67 





GROUP . . . . .83 








(3) FANOLOGY . . . .123 


(2) ROMEO AND JULIET . . 127 












XXV. FAN MAKING. .... 237 

XXVI. FAN MAKING. .... 243 

XXVII. FAN MAKING. . . . . 25 1 







TASTE . . . .323 









IT is not difficult to guess the reason why the 
fan should have been such a favourite field for 
the display of delicate and highly-finished deco- 
ration. It had a personality which expressed 
the moods and customs of its owner as no other 
species of adornment could do. It was almost 
part of the costume, yet, not being attached to 
the dress, it could be closely examined and 
admired in a way that would have been impossible 
where part of an actual garment was concerned. 
When at a loss for a subject of conversation, the 
story pictured on the leaf must often have pro- 
vided a promising theme, whether it showed a 
classical scene in which portraits of well-known 
contemporaries perhaps of royalty itself might 
be recognized under the guise of gods and god- 
desses in Olympia or as the principal personages 
of some historic scene, or whether it were of an 
even more fanciful type, and merely showed 
graceful figures bathed in golden light, dancing, 
singing, making music, or making love. 

These fan leaves may not be works of the 


highest art, but they are so much in keeping 
with their purpose that they are well worth our 
careful attention ; and as we study them we must 
bear in mind their period, the state of Court 
life, the etiquette and fashions of their time, 
and the varying tastes in decoration which they 
so faithfully mirror. 

It is, however, curious that while fan leaves are 
often painted with much skill, and display con- 
siderable knowledge of design and composition, it 
is the rarest thing to come across one which 
possesses a really high degree of artistic merit or 
even any very pronounced originality. Actual 
copies of frescoes and pictures, pastiches often 
very cleverly arranged in the styles of popular 
painters, classical scenes executed in the con- 
ventional style of the day, and somewhat trite 
renderings of actual events, constitute the subjects 
of an overwhelming number of painted fans. 

Why we so rarely find the mastery of the art 
of painting minutely, yet broadly, which was pos- 
sessed by the limners and the miniaturists who 
" painted in little " their marvellous portraits all 
through the period contemporary with the 
" Golden Age " of the fan is a mystery. 

Well-painted fans are graceful in composition, 
delicate in colour, and charming in sentiment, 
but they lack the touch of greatness, and there 
are no masterpieces among them that one can 
put alongside the works, for example, of Oliver, 
Plimer, or Cosway. It may be that the know- 


ledge that their work would be broken by the 
inevitable inflexible radiating lines, which of 
necessity cut up the mount, deterred those who 
might have executed truly inspired work from ex- 
pending their abilities on this otherwise tempting 

These same lines offer a difficult problem 
which is very seldom solved satisfactorily ; in- 
deed, in most cases the fact that they exist is 
ignored, and the design is carried out in exactly 
the same way as it would have been if the material 
were always to remain tightly stretched. In 
use, however, the leaf, of whatever it is composed, 
is not flat, and besides the lines caused by the 
folds, there is also the play of light and shade 
which results from the plaits being always 
slightly contracted. The recognized convention, 
however, was to treat the decoration as if these 
lines and the folds were non-existent, and, as a 
rule, no attempt was made to take the bull by 
the horns and make them an interesting feature 
in the decoration, or at least to make them play 
an important, if subservient, part. The painter 
ignored them, and they retaliated by breaking 
up the composition of his best groups, and cutting 
across delicate painted figures. 

Still, though this branch of art produced no 
real master who, though anonymous, could 
nevertheless be recognized by the personality 
of his work, we must be grateful for the many 
pleasant qualities to be found in the majority of 


the better fans. The nice sense of balance and 
proportion, and the daintiness and sureness of 
touch, place the fan painters of the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries high amongst the artist 
craftsmen of the day. 

The anonymity which was so nearly universal 
seems all the more remarkable when we consider 
how usual it was to sign any kind of art work. 
Contemporary furniture and metal work are 
often signed, while pictures, miniatures, and 
pastels bore the signature of the artist almost 
invariably. Engraved fan leaves, too, very fre- 
quently bear a name either of artist, engraver, or 
publisher, so that the anonymity of the painted 
leaves is the more inexplicable. 

Signatures on fans are very seldom genuine, 
though it does not in the least follow that because 
the signature is an obvious forgery (" Watteau " 
on a Louis Seize fan, for example) the fan is 
therefore a modern production ; it is very likely 
merely an example of an unfortunate failing 
which led one or two collectors at the end of the 
nineteenth century to ascribe all their treasures 
to some well-known master, and sometimes, as 
he had quite unaccountably not seen fit to place 
his name on them, they repaired the omission ! 
A skilful repairer can remove the forged name, 
which makes a piece of excellent workmanship 
ridiculous, and this course should certainly be 
pursued. These forged signatures seldom err on 
the score of modesty, as the work is generally 


attributed to the best-known masters, such as 
Watteau, Lancret, or Fragonard. I believe no 
really authentic example exists signed by any 
of these great painters, though many fans have 
been attributed to them generally with little 
show of probability. Writers of fiction are fond 
of including " fans painted by Watteau " among 
the treasures which the old " character " of a 
dealer hoards in his dirty back parlour, shown to 
a few of the elect only, and sold to none. 

Balzac in " Cousin Pons " introduces an episode 
based on a fan " signed by Watteau," which was 
said to have been painted for the Marquise de 

" It is time," says the old man, who is making 
the choicest gift possible from his treasures, 
" for that which has served Vice to be in the 
hands of Virtue ; a hundred years have been 
required to work the miracle. No princess, be 
assured, can have anything to compare with this, 
because, unfortunately, it is human nature to do 
more for a Pompadour than for a virtuous 

Honore de Balzac was as deep a student of 
human nature as ever existed, but the " lovely 
Vice " which inspired Watteau to paint this 
(mythical) masterpiece could hardly have been the 
fair Pompadour, who was still unborn at the 
day of his death. 

Among the few artists who were exceptions 
to this general rule of anonymity was Leonardo 


1. French Fan Leaf. Louis XIV. Removed 
from stick and pasted on wood. Subject : "The 
Marriage of the King with Maria Theresa of 

2. French Fan Leaf. Louis XIV. Removed 
from stick, pasted on wood, and the portion outside 
the chicken skin coloured in accordance to form 
a panel-shaped picture. 

Both in the Schreiber Collection. 




Germo, working during the early part of the 
eighteenth century. His work is of the usual 
classical type current at that date, and has 
little to distinguish it from his anonymous con- 

Other signatures recorded are " Francis Xavery, 
fecit, 1763." On a fan finely painted in gouache. 
Subject : A Betrothed Couple led by Hymen to 
the Altar of Love. " Capaigne, 1766." Several 
other names of artists who have either signed 
fans or are known to have painted them will 
be found in the list given on pp. 272-287. 

Painted Fans in France. 

The folding fan which had painting for its 
sole decoration appears to date from somewhere 
about the middle of the seventeenth century, 
though it was some time before it ousted the 
screen-shaped fan from its position as first favourite. 
The earlier fan painters seem to have taken the 
painters of illuminated manuscripts and the tapestry 
designers as their models, rather than the contem- 
porary painters of easel pictures, as their compo- 
sitions are of a distinctly decorative character. 
The interest is generally distributed over the 
entire field, and though full of detail, there is little 
variation of light and shade. They are generally 
painted in gouache on a ground either of paper 
or skin. 

An interesting example is to be seen in the 
Schreiber Collection. Unfortunately, it has suffered 


from the effects of time, and still more from the 
well-intentioned efforts of the over-zealous restorer ; 
but enough remains to show what a fine leaf 
it originally was. It represents the " Marriage 
of Louis XIV of France and Maria Theresa of 
Spain " in an allegorical composition. The bride 
and bridegroom are seated in the centre under 
a canopy, surrounded by ladies of the Court ; 
a cupid floats in the air holding a garland and 
branches of palm and olive, and on the right 
four other cupids are engaged in preparing the 
nuptial couch. This leaf is painted on paper 
in gouache, and has been removed from a mount 
and pasted on a piece of wood, and painting to 
fill it out to a rectangular shape has been added. 
It is of French workmanship, and probably 
painted for some one connected with the Court, 
possibly the Queen herself. 

The Schreiber Collection also includes another 
early Louis XIV fan, which, though of less his- 
torical importance than the " Marriage Fan/' 
is of considerable interest, dating as it does 
from a period whence few specimens have survived. 
It has as its subject " The Lover's Agency/' and 
the description in the catalogue gives a good 
idea of it. 

"In a classical building on an island tables 
covered with green cloth, to which various couples 
approach, served by cupids, who present them 
with placards, inscribed : ' Conge Pour Un Amant 
Constant/ etc. ; above the arched gateway the 


inscription : ' Bureau Dadresse Pour les Jeunes 
Aman ' ; on a globe a cupid is seated with a 
banner inscribed : ' L'Amour avec ces Traits 
Veut blesser tout le Monde/ etc. ; without are 
vessels with sails, inscribed : ' Vous qui cherchez 
Dun Amoureux Desir/ etc." This leaf has also 
been removed from a mount and pasted on a 
panel of wood, which has been painted to complete 
an oval shape. 

Two fans in the Walker Collection, dispersed 
in 1882, are rather later than these, but are very 
interesting specimens of early Louis XIV fans. 

Sometimes a less generalized mode of treatment 
was adopted, and the subject was contained 
within a cartouche, but more often the scheme 
of decoration consists of a composition of numerous 
figures arranged so as to spread the interest 
over the whole fan. 

Rather later the more centralized style becomes 
the rule, and the main composition consists of 
a principal group of figures containing all the 
actual actors in the scene represented, which 
occupies the middle of the fan. 

They are painted in brilliant colours on a 
fairly light ground, which shades off towards 
the sides into dark masses made up sometimes 
of subordinate groups of figures, but more often 
of foliage, columns, rocks, flowers, and so on, 
according to the exigencies of the subject. The 
general colouring is bright, rich, and varied, rose 
and a rather peculiar daffodil yellow being 


French Fan. Late Louis XIV. Subject : " The 
Finding of Moses," painted in gouache on chicken 
skin. The leaf has been cut on the right-hand 
side and on the top, probably in order to fit the 
later stick, on which it is now mounted. The 
figures are painted with a broad touch, the faces 
expressive, but not highly " finished." There is 
a preponderance of rich rose colour in the draperies. 
All the figures have red hair. The stick is of 
ivory, with button of the same material. Reverse 




favourite tones ; gilding is very sparingly employed, 
and in some cases gives the impression that it 
has been added at some later time to freshen the 
effect, perhaps, or to bring the fan up to date 
when gilding was more fashionable. 

The brilliant hues of the robes of the figures 
in the foreground afford a pleasing contrast to 
the more subdued tones of the background, which 
often represents a distant wooded landscape, 
with lake or other water, and some architectural 
feature, such as a church, chateau, or classical 
temple or ruins in tones of soft greyish blues, 
mellowed by golden light. What matter that 
such effulgence " never was on sea or sky," at 
all events it irradiates the compositions of the 
fan painters of the later days of Louis XIV, and 
by its harmonious glow gives interest to work 
which without it might seem but trite and 

The actual painting of these fans, which are 
generally executed in gouache, is, in good examples, 
straightforward and decisive, and the painters 
were evidently men who knew exactly the effect 
they were aiming at, and achieved it with the 
utmost economy of effort. Not that there is 
anything sketchy or unfinished about their style, 
it is simply that there are no needless touches ; 
two strokes are not made when one will achieve 
an equal, if not better, result. Instead of " stip- 
pling," the brush work follows the form, and is 
often very expressive. 


The draperies of the figures are generally of 
flowing " classical " type, and are often most 
happy in their arrangement. The shading of 
the folds follows the convention adopted in much 
contemporary needlework and tapestry, the 
shadows being indicated by a deeper tone of 
the general tint. Thus blue is shaded with 
darker blue, daffodil yellow with orange, rose 
pink with red or crimson. 

The subjects were generally chosen from well- 
known classical stories, mythological scenes, or 
religious subjects, as " The Judgment of Paris," 
" Eliezer and Rebecca at the Fountain/' 
" Belshazzar's Feast," " Jephtha's Daughter," 
" Olympus," " Venus and Vulcan." 

While the details of classical costumes and 
armour are hardly such as to satisfy modern ideas 
of archaeological accuracy in such matters, they 
were sufficiently different from those worn in 
everyday life to show that the personages repre- 
sented belonged to the heroic age, justifying the 
divergencies from the accurate presentment of 
minor details. 

One thing is very noticeable about the arrange- 
ment of these fans : the artists never seem to 
have felt quite happy in confining their composi- 
tions within the space allotted to them. The 
shape of the fan leaf a segment of a circle 
never appears to coincide with their composition 
as originally conceived. Almost always the idea 
appears to have been originally based on an 


oval placed lengthways of the fan. This oval is 
rendered incomplete by the lower border of the 
leaf, which cuts out a semicircular piece of the 
foreground. It is generally quite easy to fill 
up this hiatus mentally, and it appears probable 
that in many cases the artist had before him an 
original in the shape of a panel, whether painting, 
tapestry, or engraving, which, though not copied 
exactly, set the key to the composition. 

The most happily arranged leaves are those 
in which subordinate groups of figures are placed 
on the right or left side, with accessories of suit- 
able kind to balance them on the other, while 
the main interest is concentrated on the central 
figures, who have to be placed almost in the 
middle distance, as in the middle part of the fan 
the immediate foreground is cut away. Thus, 
if the subject is a feast, the banquet and guests 
occupy the centre, with a group of servants at 
one side, and piles of fruit, wine cups, and folds 
of drapery on the other. This kind of conven- 
tion grew up gradually, those leaves, where 
there is little attempt to accommodate the composi- 
tion to the space to be filled, being generally 
the earliest. 

In spite of the brilliant colours, these Louis XIV 
leaves were decidedly more sober than the later 
painted leaves. There is always a good deal of 
dignity of bearing about the personages, even 
when they are supposed to be disporting them- 
selves at their ease. The material of these fans 

PLATE 111. 

French Fan. Period, Louis XV. Leaf gouache 
on chicken skin. The subject has not been 
identified. Warrior and king drinking, while a 
goddess prevents an attack by an armed soldier 
and a semi-nude youth armed only with a 
javelin by raising a cloud of smoke or mist. 

Principal figure in rich tones of mazarine, 
orange, purple, and green. The goddess's draperies, 
pink and blue ; curtain, sage green. The rococo 
framing of typical Louis XV character in rich 
shades of amaranth, brown, and dull green, 
pervenche blue, purple, and rose. A considerable 
amount of gilding. 

Reverse : Group of fruit grapes, peaches, and 
cherries finely painted. 

Sticks of ivory fretted, carved, gilt, and further 
embellished by the application of powdered pearl 
shell in the depressions of the shellwork carving. 

Design includes five reserves of cartouche-like 
form, the two larger painted with Grecian ruins ; 
the three smaller with festoons of roses and various 
small flowers. There are four groups of figures 
carved with a lady and cavalier in various atti- 
tudes; as a background there are gilt arabesques 
and festoons, and baskets of flowers, and birds 
of undeterminate species carved in the ivory, 
ungilt. The guard sticks are of ^carved and fretted 
ivory, similar in ornament to the inner sticks. 
They are backed with red foil, which shows 
through the interstices. The rivet head is jewelled 
with a white paste set in silver. 




is often of paper, or a rather stout skin, which 
sometimes has a rather more open grain than 
later chicken skin. 

There is no hard-and-fast rule by which we 
can distinguish a late Louis XIV from the early 
Louis XV leaf, the same classical and historical 
scenes were popular ; biblical subjects were not 
fashionable. A new type of subject, however, 
was introduced, and very soon became the vogue. 

The Conversations galantes, Moments musicales, 
Dejeuners sur I'herbe, and Pastorelles, which 
were the theme of so many pictures of the day, 
made the most delightful fan leaves, and numerous 
and charming are such examples. They are 
inspired by Watteau, Bouchier, and Fragonard, 
but are very seldom transcripts of any one work 
by these masters. The fan painters were adept 
at taking here a figure, there a group, from another 
work a landscape background, and combining 
them into a sufficiently harmonious whole, satis- 
factory, no doubt, to their clientele, and less 
troublesome than the invention of entirely new 
designs. In many cases, no doubt, in thus follow- 
ing the fashionable painters, they were supplying 
a demand, because some of them, at all events, 
were capable of originating very charming 
compositions. The classical subjects were treated 
in very much the same way as in earlier days as 
far as arrangement goes, but there was decidedly 
more freedom in the lines ; the classical drapery 
was not so voluminous, and there was even more 


concentration of interest upon the central group. 
The classical subjects are as a rule somewhat 
stereotyped in treatment, and are hardly so 
typical of the period (although perhaps more 
numerous) as the pastiches of Watteau and 

The actual painting of this period tended 
towards a dryer and harder handling than before, 
though there were many exceptions. The colour- 
ing is rich, yet delicate ; rose colour, turquoise 
blue, and rich yellows and orange are relieved 
against masses of grey-green foliage, while from 
the centre radiates a light which is often more 
silvery than golden, giving on the whole a cooler 
effect than the earlier leaves. Where there is a 
space to be filled in at the sides, it is occupied 
by delicate tracery in gold and colours. Whatever 
the style of the rest of the leaf, this part of the 
decoration is decidedly rococo in treatment. 
The gold is generally laid on in fine lines over 
the colours, giving a pleasant effect, somewhat 
like " shot silk." It seems likely that certain 
painters may have specialized in executing this 
tracery, because the same kind of rococo orna- 
ment is used for the corners of a Fete Champ etre 
after Watteau, or a classical subject in the 
traditional style. This is all the more probable 
because the work on fans was in many ways 
shared between different workers ; thus, the 
ivory of the stick was roughly cut to shape in 
one village, carved in another, and sent to Paris 


to be finished by colouring and gilding. The 
painter who executed the miniatures on the 
ivory of the sticks was not the same man who 
painted the leaf, another worker altogether 
mounted and folded the finished painting, and 
thus the work passed through numerous hands 
before it finally reached completion. 

Whether the tracery of the sides were really 
executed by the painter of the central portion 
or not, it is often very delightful in colour. Sub- 
dued purples, blues, green, and rose harmonized 
by the delicate threads and lines of gold, often 
resemble the colour scheme of a Persian manu- 
script. Birds of rich plumage, flowers, foliage, 
and arabesques all treated in the rococo style 
form the designs ; but they are all so subordinated 
to the principal subject that the details are hardly 
noticeable unless specially looked for. 

The figures in the Louis XV fans as a rule are 
smaller than those of earlier times, and the general 
handling was less broad, the detail was very 
carefully defined, and gold was freely though 
discretely used. The costumes of classical figures, 
though far from approaching the modern ideal 
of accuracy in such matters, made far more 
pretentions to historical truth than had earlier 
been considered necessary. 

Some of the later Louis Quinze fans have the 
subject enclosed in a cartouche or frame the out- 
come of a tendency which had been very noticeable 
towards the concentration of the main interest 



French. Louis XV. Chicken skin leaf, painted 
in gouache. " Telemarque on the Isle of Calypso." 
Stick, pearl ; carved, pierced, and gilt. 

M. Duvelleroy. 



in the middle third of the leaf. It is only possible 
to describe the progress of this tendency in a 
general way, as there are many exceptions. 
It has been noted earlier that the interest of the 
early Louis XIV fans was spread over the entire 
leaves, the figures were often scattered, and the 
chief figures were sometimes placed to one side. 
Later, the subject was comprised within a large 
oval, of which the lower part was removed owing 
to the semicircular shape of the leaf ; later still 
the chief subject is comprised in a still smaller 
oval, the whole of which is comprised within the 
limits of the leaf, the remaining space being 
filled with subsidiary matter. (It must be under- 
stood that the term " oval " does not mean a 
definite line or border.) Later still there is an 
absolute division between the subjects and the 
background, the former being enclosed in a border, 
and the latter being of a totally different kind of 
ornament, having no connection with the pictorial 

Subjects painted within borders or cartouches 
were not a new thing. Even on seventeenth- 
century fan-leaves they are to be found, but then 
they were exceptions. When we reach the leaf 
of Louis XVI we find that they were the rule ; 
a very large majority of these fans having three 
subjects, a large one in the centre, flanked by a 
smaller one on either side. 

The Louis Seize period is represented in England 
by the Adam style, and the light and delicate 


French. Fan most delicately painted with a 
scene of an embarkation. The subject includes 
nineteen figures, each individually treated. The 
colouring is rich, mainly blue and mauve. Tone 
enriched with reddish crimson draperies. The 
stick, pearl ; carved and gilt, and partially painted 
red and blue: 

M. Duvellewy. 




treatment so characteristic of all the decoration of 
that type was admirably suited for fans. The 
painting of the medallions was, in good examples, 
very fine and elaborate, the smallest details 
being worked out with the utmost delicacy. 
The chief panel was generally painted with a 
somewhat important figure composition, while 
the smaller ovals or rounds are filled with simpler 
subjects, sometimes having a bearing on the 
principal group, but perhaps more often being 
totally unrelated to it. The colouring of these 
medallions is generally in a somewhat high key, 
the tone being fresh and gay. 

The general field of the fan leaf is treated in 
marked contrast to the reserves ; the whole scheme 
is of feathery lightness, wreaths and festoons of 
flowers, trophies, garlands, and so on, are disposed 
over the surface, so as not to detract from the 
main decoration. The general effect in the best 
examples is extremely good, and they are perfect 
examples of balance and poise. Others are less 
successful, and have a rather muddled appear- 
ance, owing to the ground being treated with a 
thin wiry ornament, which fails to give the neces- 
sary support to the panels, which seem to over- 
weight the scheme. 

Many of these fans have small medallions 
introduced, which are painted en camaieu, generally 
blue and white in imitation of Wedgwood's Jasper ; 
or perhaps they were inspired by the Sevres copies 
of that ware, which were extremely popular. 


French. Louis XV. Skin leaf, painted in 
gouache, with " Telemarque and the Nymphs." 
The mount is of pearl, carved and gilt. 

M. Duvelleroy. 




Many of these Louis Seize fans are on silk 
grounds of fine weave, which take the colour 
most admirably, the pores of the material being 
filled in to a considerable extent by the body- 
colour almost invariably used. The detail is 
every whit as fine as if they were painted on 
paper or skin. In fact, the best specimens are 
amongst the most minutely finished of any. The 
panels are frequently bordered with tiny sequins 
of gold and silver. These are so exceedingly 
thin that they hardly add anything to the weight, 
and do not interfere with the opening and shutting 
of the fan ; they are generally sewn on with 
extremely fine cotton, much finer than anything 
obtainable now. 

Painted silk panels are sometimes mounted 
on a fine gauze, a combination which has a 
charming effect, though appearing rather use- 
less when the ostensible purpose of a fan is 

The subjects of the panels are various. Those 
that were painted to grace a royal wedding 
naturally are adorned with designs showing the 
incidents connected with the event and portraits 
of the high-contracting parties. As they were 
painted as a rule before the actual ceremony 
(often being designed as presents to the lady 
guests attending the ceremonies) the scenes 
depicted are often more in the nature of an 
allegory that transcripts of actual fact. Royal 
betrothals and christenings were also occasions 


French, about 1750. Paper leaf, painted with 
a pastoral group after the manner of Watteau. 
The stick and guard, mot her-o '-pearl ; pierced 
and carved, and richly gilt. Subject, a sacri- 
ficial scene. 

Digby Wyatt Collection, Victoria and Albert 



when fans were acceptable presents, and therefore 
these events are also often found immortalized 
on fans. 

A large class of fans are decorated with scenes 
of every-day life. "The Visit," "The Caged 
Bird/' "The Christening," "The Promenade," 
" The Offering to Hymen," all afford opportunities 
for depicting pleasingly attired persons doing 
nothing with the greatest possible pomp and 
circumstance. The painters of these fans wielded 
a facile pencil, and only too often they have 
skilled workmanship, and very little else to 
recommend them. 

In many of the panels contemporary events 
are pictured, and the freaks of fashion and the 
foibles of the passing moment can be traced, as 
they varied from year to year. Perhaps the 
craze that is responsible for more fans than any 
other was the invention of balloons. The whole 
of France was thrilled by the idea that man 
could fly, or at least raise himself free of the 
earth, and the heroes of balloon ascents, and 
later parachute descents, became popular charac- 
ters, whose movements roused public enthusiasm. 
There were several balloonists whose doings are 
commemorated on fans. The Mongolfier Brothers, 
Joseph Michel and Jacque Etienne, are generally 
credited with being inventors of balloons. They 
were paper manufacturers at Annonay, where 
they made their first successful experiments. 
Their renown led them to receive the King's 


French Fan, 1770. Fetes on the occasion of 
the marriage of the Dauphin. Sticks, mother- 
o '-pearl, and ivory guards ; ivory pierced and 

Wyatt Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum. 




command to repeat them at Versailles, and the 
ascent of the immense balloon was watched by 
the entire Court. 

The first descent in a parachute took place 
on August 20, 1797, at Paris, and was commemo- 
rated on numerous fans, which, although not 
generally of the highest quality, have an interest 
of their own. The balloon ascents of Messieurs 
Charles and Robert in 1783 are also found 
pictured on fans ; they are often shown looking 
over the edge of the basket, each holding a flag. 

Though the leaf with the medallion decoration 
is certainly typical of Louis XVI fans, the all- 
over form of composition still continued to be 
painted in very much the same way as it had 
been at an earlier date, save that the accessories 
are not of the rococo type, but display the severer 
taste, which was acceptable to the beau monde 
at the time when they were executed. The 
drawing of the figures is less florid, the action 
quieter, and the draperies not so voluminous 
in fact, the whole style is more frigid. 

Towards the end of the century the quality of 
workmanship varies very considerably, much 
more so than it did earlier, when almost all fans 
showed at least a decent degree of merit. The 
late eighteenth-century leaves are often mere 
perfunctory transcripts carried out with fatal 
facility, but showing little or no thought or effort 
on the part of the painter. 

During the Directorate and Empire periods 


Portion of Fan (Plate II) enlarged to three 
times (linear) the original size, showing the free 
handling employed by the fan painters of this 
period. To the right is a portion of a tree trunk, 
with wind-blown drapery. In the centre, Pharaoh's 
daughter with the infant Moses. The attendant's 
head is relieved against a background of distant 
foliage. End seventeenth century. French gouache 
on skin. 




painting as a decoration for fans was almost 
entirely abandoned in favour of sequins and 
spangles, though exceptional examples continued 
to be made. 

Painted Fan Leaves. Italy. 

In the early days of folding fans Italy, which 
at that time took the lead in all that pertained 
to art and culture, was renowned for their manu- 
facture and the decoration of the leaves. It was 
natural that the beauty-loving country should 
have early appreciated the possibilities of charm 
which lay in the magic half-circle. The fan in 
its different forms had long been domiciled in 
Italy, and the early folding fans were merely a 
development of a fashion already almost univer- 
sally accepted. Therefore quite from the beginning 
they were decorated in an elaborate way. The 
early fans of mica and cut vellum were extremely 
ornate. Naturally, at the present day these fans 
are extremely rare, but at the time they were 
made they were in the hands of all the ladies 
of the different Courts and the wives of the 
important citizens. The cut vellum fans continued 
long in use, and were sometimes left with reserves 
of unpierced skin, on which miniatures were 
painted of extreme delicacy ; but on the whole 
the beauty of these fans depended on the delicacy 
of the tracery which resembled the lace worked 
on cut linen, which was then so much used for 
ornamenting garments and bed furniture. 


Central group from fan in Plate III, repre- 
senting a king and a warrior resting, the latter 
drinking from a wine-cup. Subject unknown. 
The method of painting is typical of the period, 
in which the gradations are produced by a number 
of delicate touches, rather than one sweep of 
colour. About 1745-55. 





During the eighteenth century, when the 
chief place as fan makers to the Courts of Europe 
passed from Italian to French hands, the painted 
fan leaf of France set the model for all others, 
and in many Italian fans henceforward French 
influence can be traced, but fans continued to 
be made in Italy in large numbers, and have 
an individuality of their own. 

It is perhaps because Italy was during the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Mecca 
of so many pilgrims bent on the pursuit of pleasure 
or the acquisition of learning, that there seems 
to have been more self-consciousness among 
Italians as to their treasures, both of nature and 
art, than was prevalent among other nations. 
The number of fans of Italian provenance which 
are ornamented either with copies of celebrated 
paintings, or with paintings of well-known build- 
ings and scenery, far exceeds that of French fans 
dealing with similar subjects. 

It was, of course, a very easy matter to copy 
any of the frescoes or paintings which were at 
all suitable in style on to a fan leaf, but it did 
not follow that because the original was a fine 
work of art that it would therefore make a good 
leaf, and many required a certain amount of 
rearrangement before they could be used to fill 
the required span. Italian painters, however, 
seldom went to the lengths that their French 
confreres did in building up a patchwork of figures 
from different works to form a new composition. 



They generally contented themselves with cutting 
out portions that could not be adapted, sometimes, 
on the other hand, spacing a little further apart 
groups and figures when this was necessary. 

The earlier copies, as a rule, cover the whole 
leaf, very little extraneous matter being intro- 
duced. The same subjects appear over and over 
again, certain paintings, such as the ever popular 
Aurora of Guido, being repeated with slight 
variations on numberless fans. These leaves are 
painted on either paper or chicken skin, and are 
not unfrequently found preserved in portfolios 
or albums, having never been mounted. They 
are hardly ever signed ; probably they are the 
production of a studio or workshop rather than 
of an individual artist. 

There is another class of fan also dealing with 
copies of masterpieces, in which the originals 
are still further reduced, and instead of occupying 
the whole leaf are enclosed in a framework. 
There are, as a rule, three or more subjects on 
each fan, and they are symmetrically arranged, 
generally a large one in the centre, with smaller 
ones each side, or one of fairly important size 
occupies the central portion of the leaf, the rest 
being filled with trophies and foliage of a con- 
ventional character in the classical style. They 
are generally exquisitely painted from the point 
of view of accuracy and finish, but the general 
effect is cold and severe. The constant copying 
of other men's work, even if it is of the finest 


description, must in the end have a deadening 
effect on the individuality of any craftsman, 
and after a time he becomes absolutely incapable 
of originating any new idea, but continues year 
in year out to work in the same groove. The 
hard outline and the tightness of the drawing 
makes these fan leaves extremely unsympathetic. 
The style, as a matter of fact, was not suited to 
its purpose ; compositions designed on a large 
scale for the decoration of the walls or ceilings 
of palaces do not lend themselves well to reduc- 
tion to almost microscopic size ; and while the 
subjects were often the same as those selected 
by French fan painters, they lack the gaiety of 
feeling and grace which can be imparted to even 
the most classical and dignified composition, if 
the painter has the power of translating rather 
than copying. 

The groundwork of these fan leaves is filled 
in with garlands and arabesques, together with 
trophies in the classical style, all carried out in 
a hard and unyielding manner. 

Very much like these in many ways are the 
Pompeian fans, a type which appears to have 
been painted by Neapolitan artists. These 
leaves have as their principal decoration a copy 
of one of the frescoes from the lately disinterred 
city of Pompeii. This composition generally 
occupies a rectangular panel placed in the centre 
of the fan, the remaining space being filled in 
with ornamental details of less important char- 


Italian Fans. 

1. Late seventeenth century. Subject : " Storm- 
ing of Jerusalem and Healing of Godfrey de 
Bouillon's Wound/' Stick, plain ivory ; guards, 
pique with silver. 

Wyatt Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum. 

2. Early eighteenth century. Subject : " Rape 
of Proserpine." Stick, plain ivory ; guards, pique 
with silver. 

Wyatt Collection. 




acter, also copied from the mural decorations 
which had been found in the buried cities. The 
colouring of these fans is, of course, governed 
by that of the originals, and is somewhat heavy, 
the principal tones being black, red, and rich 
buff, merging to orange, with other colours, such 
as a vivid turquoise blue in lesser proportion. 

Another type of Neapolitan fan, which was 
made in great numbers, consists of a medley of 
views of Naples and its environs. These are 
arranged in a somewhat haphazard manner on 
a vividly coloured background, so as to resemble 
a handful of sketches and drawings thrown on 
the fan more or less at random. The central 
scene is often the Bay of Naples, The Dog's 
Grotto, or other celebrated spot, and one of 
the side sketches is almost always Vesuvius in 
eruption. The painting of these fan leaves is 
never of a very high order. They must have 
been made in hundreds, and no doubt were 
popular presents from the young foreigner making 
the " Grand Tour " to his friends at home, as 
they were characteristic of the country. A fan 
has always been an acceptable gift ever since 
the days of Queen Elizabeth, who held them as 
one of the most suitable offerings that her subjects 
could make. Fans were also sent to Italy from 
England. Horace Walpole, writing to Sir Horace 
Mann in 1742, mentions having sent a present 
of japan and fans to the Princess Craon at Florence. 
Probably these were Oriental fans, as the Princess 


in her letter of gratitude says that " The generosity 
of your friendship for me, Sir, leaves me nothing 
to desire of all that is precious in England, China, 
and the Indies." 

Scenery fans in another form are those in 
which the decoration of the leaf consists of a 
landscape covering the whole leaf, and representing 
some celebrated beauty spot or well-known 
scene. As a rule the view is treated exactly as 
if it were being painted for wall decoration, and 
no regard is paid to the contour of the fan ; the 
lower border of the leaf simply bites into the 
central part of the foreground, leaving only the 
side parts available for the introduction of figures 
of any size. 

The painting of these fans is, as a rule, of a 
higher order than the Neapolitan fans described 
above. They are generally painted on rather 
deep leaves so as to give space for the landscape 
to be carried out on a fairly large scale. 

At all times Italy has been a goal of numberless 
" tourists," and naturally enough they have 
desired to take home with them, either as souvenirs 
for themselves or as gifts for their friends, objects 
characteristic of the country ; no doubt very 
many, perhaps the majority, of these fans were 
intended to fulfil this demand. This would 
account for the endless repetition of hackneyed 
subjects which were produced in such numbers 
that they could hardly have been absorbed by 
the home market. 


Painted Fan Leaves in Spain. 

In general style Spanish fans follow closely 
their French contemporaries, and therefore it is 
hardly necessary to follow their progress from 
period to period. France not only set the fashion, 
but also made a large number of fans for the 
Spanish market. Italian fans were also imported, 
but the former seem to have been the more 
highly esteemed. An anecdote is told of Cano 
de Arevalo, a minor Spanish painter working at 
Madrid towards the close of the seventeenth 
century, which confirms this. He was not very 
successful when painting in the grand manner, . 
and preferred to express himself in small cabinet 
pictures. In these he achieved artistic success, 
but the pecuniary gains were small. It occurred 
to him that fan leaves offered an excellent field 
for the display of his particular talent. In order 
to obtain the high prices which were readily paid 
for imported fans, and knowing by experience 
that a prophet lacks honour in his own country, 
he had recourse to a strategem. " He shut 
himself up all one winter in his house and painted 
a quantity of fans, and when the time arrived for 
selling them pretended that he had received a 
large consignment from Paris. He sold them 
all in a very few days. This initial success made 
him known, and he applied himself entirely 
to this branch of art, in which he was so 
successful that the Queen appointed him her 


Italian Fans. 

1. Early eighteenth century, painted by 
Lionardo Germo. Subject : " Venus and Adonis." 
Stick and guard, tortoiseshell ; engraved, silvered 
and gilt. It formerly belonged to Benjamin 
West, P.R.A. 

Wyatt Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum. 

2. An Italian Fan of the Neapolitan type, 
painted in gouache on chicken skin. The central 
panel shows the sulphur springs near Pozzuoli. 
" Veduto Generale della Solfettura pre de la 
Citte d'Pozzuoli." The landscape is painted in 
natural colours, as are also the ruins to right 
and left. The former shows Vesuvius in eruption, 
on the other a small seascape. 

Reverse : A bird on a leafless branch looking 
at a fly. 

Date : About 1760-70. 

The stick is, perhaps, a little earlier ; it is deco- 
rated with gold tracery and sprigs of flowers in 
lacquer-like colouring. White paste in rivet. 




painter " (G. Quillet, " Dictionnaire des Peintres 
Espagnols," Paris, 1816). He died at the age of 
forty, being killed in a duel. 

After his death the importation of fans 
continued, and though fans were and are 
used most gracefully by Spanish ladies, they 
appear to have had a very special affection for 
those made in France. It is quite natural that 
it should be so. The fan maker's art and craft 
is a very skilled one, requiring a great deal more 
than the artistic taste necessary for the composing 
and colouring of the leaf. The carving of the 
sticks and the mounting and folding of the leaf 
after the artist has completed his share of the 
work, are tasks that even now, with all the aid 
that modern tools and appliances can give, require 
a long apprenticeship before they can be success- 
fully undertaken. In those days the trade was, 
as now, an exceptionally skilled one, and I venture 
to say that if Cano de Arevalo had attempted 
to make the fans instead of ornamenting them, 
he would very soon have found that he had set 
himself an impossible task. What he probably 
did was to import the fans with a blank leaf 
already mounted, on which he executed his 
designs. This is much more difficult than 
painting on a leaf properly prepared and stretched, 
but it was the only way open to him, as obviously 
it would have been impossible for him to carry 
out the mounting himself ; and even if there 
were any Spanish workmen at that time capable 

English Fans. 

1. Gouache on paper, painted with a bouquet 
and two sprays of flowers. The colouring very 
much resembles the designs for Spitalfields silks 
preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum. 
The other side a landscape, a lake, with a distant 
view of a castle and wooded scenery. 

Stick of painted ivory, backed by gold foil 
in the guards. Button, mother-o '-pearl. Date 
about 1746. 

2. Early eighteenth-century Fan. Paper leaf, 
painted with a pastoral group ; the stick and 
guards, ivory ; carved, pierced, and coloured with 
subjects of figures and flowers. 

Wyatt Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum. 




of executing the high-class work requisite to 
deceive the connoisseurs of the Court, his secret 
would certainly have become known and his 
plans frustrated. 

As to the probability of ivory sticks being carved 
in Spain, this seems extremely unlikely, as during 
the Golden Age of the fan there seem to have 
existed no workmen capable of undertaking such 
work, as appears from the following quotation 
from Sefior Juan F. Riafio's book " The Industrial 
Arts of Spain," 1879 (Chapman and Hall, South 
Kensington Handbook) : " Notwithstanding, how- 
ever, the numerous examples of ivory carvings 
which a*e still to be met with in Spanish churches 
and cathedrals, I find no information which 
enables us to affirm that this artistic industry 
existed in Spain during the sixteenth, seventeenth, 
and eighteenth centuries. We find artists men- 
tioned who carved in wood, iron, and silver 
work, and numerous details of their work, but 
ivory carvers are never mentioned ; if any existed, 
their numbers must have been comparatively 
small, and I am led, therefore, to suppose that 
the specimens existing in Spain were imported 
from Italy and France, and for this reason it is 
necessary to end at the Renaissance the history 
of ivory carving in Spain." 

But though it is probable that most of the 
eighteenth-century fans described as Spanish are, 
as a matter of fact, French (those that is that 
reach a really high standard), they were executed 


in a special way to suit the Spanish taste, the 
subjects were of the same class as those favoured 
in France, consisting of Biblical, classical, and his- 
torical scenes, but the colouring is richer, almost 
Oriental in style. The special variety which is 
considered to have been most highly favoured 
in Spain is the " Battoir " fan, which has a narrow 
leaf, often painted with numerous subjects in 
small medallions, and mounted on a richly orna- 
mented stick, with very few brins (seldom more 
than eight), of a very remarkable shape, being 
broadened in parts almost to the semblance of 
a figure eight. The guards also are necessarily 
very broad in order to accommodate the width 
of the folds, which being so few in number are, 
of course, much broader than in the ordinary 
fan. These fans are always of an important 
character, being very richly decorated. If such 
fans were made in Spain, there was no reason 
for the large importation of French fans, as they 
show considerable skill. 

Paintings of scenes in the bull-ring are, of 
course, very characteristic, and from about 
the middle of the eighteenth century had an 
increasing vogue, though the greater number 
of those extant are not earlier than the end 
of the eighteenth century. Many of these are 
undoubtedly of Spanish workmanship. The 
drawing of the figure is more robust than in 
contemporary French work, while there is less 
finesse and judgment in the placing of the orna- 


ment as a rule. There is about many of them a 
knowledge of the characteristic types and an 
enthusiasm for the " sport " that it is not likely 
a foreigner could assume. 

English Painted Fans. 

It appears that there were few fans made in 
England before the close of the seventeenth 
century. There may have been some made, or 
at all events some leaves painted here before 
that date, and in the Walker Sale, 1884, two 
were definitely catalogued as being of the time 
of Charles II. The description is of interest, 
though from it a diagnosis of a French origin, 
possibly of a later date, would appear probable. 

" 262. A Fan. Stout skin mount. Subject : 
' An Ancient Marriage/ The Bride wearing a 
coronet of flowers attended by beautiful girls 
bearing a distaff and flowers ; the bridegroom 
presenting the ring ; background of architecture, 
and gold diaper border, with triangular panels 
of Chinese ornament. The whole very highly 
finished. Stick ivory carved with emblematic 
figures, and inlaid mother-o'-pearl and silver 

" 263. A Fan. Stout skin mount. Subject : 
' Achilles and Deidamia/ by the same hand. 
As Troy could not be taken without the 
aid of Achilles, Ulysses went to the Court 
of Lycomedes in the habit of a merchant and 


exposed jewels and arms for sale. Achilles, choos- 
ing the arms, displayed his sex and went to war. 
" Ulyses is here standing in front offering a 
mirror to Deidamia, who holds in her hand a 
u II in of pearls, and with the other she points 
to Achilles in an attitude of alarm, 20 lie is grasping 
the sword and buckler. To the right a camel 
is being unladen by two stalwart slaves. On 
the left the wife and other daughters of Lycom< 
and a background of architectare. The com- 
fine and very highly fink; 

mother-o'-pearl, carved with subjects emblematic 
of the marriage of Lotris XIV, and enriched with 
variegated gold ornaments. On the reverse, also 
a skin mount, the subject is a view of St. Cloud, 
the fountain in the foreground falling into an 
**"*^fr a a1 basin, an avenue of trees leading to 
the palace, and personages promenading, the 
whole most minute in detail, and probably painted 
by Hollar. 

remarkable examples must have been 
for important Court personages, probably 
Louise Renee de QueroneHe, Ducfae** of Ports- 
mouth ; the subject of the reverse suggests thb 

IB any case, these were certainly made, if not 
in France, by French workpeople foiknring in 
ffce train of the French favourite to the 
Court, as obiioiMlf tibe wbole ntffaracf If 

Thcmgb die taade was in tbe seventeenth 


" A writer in the Westminster Journal for 
February 23, 1751, proposes a tax upon plain 
and printed mounts. Printed ones not coloured 
to pass free as before. A sixpenny stamp to be 
affixed in the midst of a plain or printed paper 
fan mount, and a shilling stamp on a leather 
one. This may produce a revenue of ten, twenty, 
or thirty thousand pounds per annum, encourage 
a very ingenious branch of business, and only 
hurt about half a dozen paltry plate printers 
who are enriching themselves and starving 

So that obviously there must have been a 
very large number of painters who earned their 
living by the painting of fans, if " hundreds " 
were put out of work by the printed leaves. 

But the competition of home-printed leaves 
appears on the whole to have been the least serious 
trouble which faced the trade. French and 
Oriental fans were largely imported. Not only 
the complete article, but sticks ready for mounts 
were brought in, and different statutes against 
these deadly rivals were invoked (see Chapter 
VI, p. 261). 

In 1752 it was stated in an advertisement in 
the Daily Advertiser (quoted in the Gentleman's 
Magazine) that there were nearly a thousand 
" poor unfortunate artificers in the several 
branches of the fan trade/' " The home-made 
fans," it says, " are in every way preferable to 
foreign ; and that by encouraging the latter, 


they will relieve a number of unfortunate families 
from the most grievous distress and despair." 

The style of English fan painting would pretty 
obviously be modelled on the much-prized French 
and Italian originals, and possibly some of the 
more successful are considered to be by artists 
of those nationalities, because there are compara- 
tively few fans of the early years of the eighteenth 
century which can definitely be said to be of 
English origin. Those that can be identified as 
such vary a good deal in character. The type 
of handling is heavy and rather crude, the colours 
thickly applied, and the details added in a 
" liney " manner. A fan in a private collection 
shows a scene at the Court of Queen Anne. Her 
Majesty is seated beneath a richly adorned 
canopy, with her ladies grouped to the right ; 
on the left of the dais are several peers and a 
bishop ; a young page or official presents a book 
on a cushion ; the curtains to the right part 
showing clouds in which appear the head and 
shoulders of a cupid bearing a wreath. The 
circumstance represented is unknown. The rich 
almost Oriental quality of the colour render the 
rather childish grouping and stiff action of the 
figures less noticeable than they would otherwise 
be, but the whole leaf lacks the expert treatment 
which distinguishes even the least admirable of 
the French fans of this time. 

Another fan in the Schreiber Collection is rather 
later, but resembles it in many points. 



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:; L -_;:lt -_- 

Jit ?.:;-_ 

t : -t :: lit 

-.I:-. i= 1- lit It:: 



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-.---- '-'- -'-'-'. ~~rl t_.._; II. 

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Superior in execution, but dull in colour and 
rather uninteresting, is a painting on a leaf in 
the same collection. It is, however, of import- 
ance because signed by an artist of whom some- 
thing is known. This fan leaf is painted with 
three views of ruins in Rome. The centre portion 
shows the Arch of Constantine, and at the sides 
are the Arch of Titus and the Forum ; the body 
of the fan is filled with delicate classical grotesques 
and borders. The signature is that of " Jose 
Goupy, 1738, N.A." This painter was very 
fashionable in his day, both for his water-colour 
drawings and his fans. This leaf, like many 
others attributed to him, is really a tinted drawing, 
carried out, as were so many water colours of 
that time, mainly in Indian ink, partly pen 
work and partly wash ; the result is dull in colour, 
but full of delicate detail. The colour is a minor 
consideration, and consists chiefly of washes over 
the ink. The style of the arrangement resembles 
very closely the Italian fans, which were so 
popular during the eighteenth century, but their 
colour is far fresher and brighter ; they are also 
carried out in gouache often on skin, though 
sometimes on paper while Goupy in this signed 
example, and probably as a general rule, worked 
in water colour on paper. It appears to be 
rather the work of a skilled draughtsman in 
water colour, displaying his talents on a fan leaf, 
than entirely typical of English fans of the day. 
An English fan which I possess of about the 



same period is painted in gouache on paper. 
The principal side has a rather uninteresting 
landscape in bright colours. The reverse has a 
bunch of flowers, roses, tulips, and hyacinths 
tied with a blue ribbon bow. It is quite a simple 
fan, but is interesting because the colouring of 
the flower painting so nearly resembles that of 
the silk designs used by the Huguenot silk 
weavers of Spitalfields. 

Another fan of this period painted in gouache 
on skin shows a group in the centre representing 
apparently a theatrical scene : A lady and gentle- 
man are reclining on a grassy bank, while another 
figure is seen watching from behind some shrubby 
growth. He is apparently a rival, and holds a 
dagger in a menacing attitude ; he is unconscious 
that his movements are in turn dogged by two 
others, dressed like servants, who point to him. 
The scene is contained in a cartouche-shaped 
space, but there is no actual border. The rest 
of the leaf is filled with foliage and fruit treated 
on a very large scale, and apparently simply 
heaped pell-mell to utilize the spare space. There 
is no sense of composition in the arrangement, 
which seems a well-meant attempt to adapt the 
idea of a French fan by a painter who had not 
the necessary qualifications. Obviously, if paint- 
ings of this calibre were the best that the English 
fan makers of the middle of the eighteenth century 
could offer in competition with the French fan, 
then at the zenith of its perfection as regards 


delicacy of execution and perfection of crafts- 
manship, it is small wonder that the trade declined ; 
and that while the cheap printed fans of English 
design and printing were eminently satisfactory, 
as simple adjuncts to a morning toilet, for 
Court and full-dress use, where a hand-painted 
leaf was preferable, the imported rivals were 
purchased, in spite of appeals to the charitable 
and the invocation of half-forgotten statutes. 

For some years the art of fan painting slumbered 
in England, and few fans are to be found which 
can be identified as belonging to the years 1750- 
70. That fans were painted, and well painted 
in England during this period appears from a 
reference in Horace Walpole's letters, January 27, 
1761, in which he mentions sending to Sir Horace 
Mann in Florence " Six of the newest fashioned 
and prettiest fans I could find. They are really 
genteel, though one or two have caprices that 
will turn a Florentine head. 1 ' On another occa- 
sion (1752) he refers to an anecdote about Lady 
Coventry's fan, but that was painted earlier. 
" The Marechale de Lowendahl was pleased with 
an English fan Lady Coventry had, who very 
civilly gave it her : my lord made her write for 
it again next morning, ' because he had given it 
her before marriage, and her parting with it would 
make an irreparable breach,' and send an old 
one in the room of it." 

The fans of the last quarter of the eighteenth 
century differ in many ways from their pre- 


decessors. Instead of the principal side being 
painted with one scene covering the whole leaf 
with the aid of its accessories, the whole 
interest was now divided between three different 
subjects, each in a medallion or cartouche. The 
fashion may be ultimately traced back to Italy, 
but appears to have reached this country via 
France, where a similar arrangement was fashion- 
able. Among the Italian artists and crafts- 
men that the renewed craze for the classical 
in architecture and art, fostered by the work of 
the Brothers Adam, had caused to flock to this 
country there were, however, undoubtedly some 
who painted fans. Poggi was the principal of 
these, and he had a decided vogue. He held an 
exhibition in 1781, to which Sir Joshua Reynolds 
took " Little Burney." 

" Tuesday. I passed the whole day at Sir 
Joshua Reynolds, with Miss Palmer, who in the 
morning took me to see some beautiful fans 
painted by Poggi, from designs of Sir Joshua, 
Angelica, West, and Cipriani, on leather. They 
are, indeed, more delightful than can well be 
imagined ; one was bespoke by the Duchess of 
Devonshire for a present to some woman of rank 
in France, that was to cost 40." 

Some of these fans and the original designs 
by Angelica Kauffmann, Bartolozzi, West, and 
Cipriani were sold at Christie's in the following 
year. At the same sale was sold the original 
drawing by Angelica Kauffmann for a printed 



fan in honour of Alexander Pope, which is 
described in the sale catalogue as : ' The Bust 
of Pope crowned by the Graces, who are admiring 
the beauty of his work." It was published in 
several forms in stipple and line engraving. 

The painting of English fans of the last quarter 
of the century is often very painstakingly 
finished, and to a certain extent well designed 
and executed. The chief faults are that the 
ornament is conceived on too small a scale, and 
is thin and wiry, in contrast to the best French 
examples, which, while light and airy in effect, 
fill the space. The subjects in the medallions, 
too, are frequently too minute, and the whole 
too precise and tight in execution. 

They appear to have been made for very good, 
correct, and well-behaved owners. Probably those 
who surrounded the Prince obtained their fans 
from France ! 

Many spangles were used in conjunction with 
painting, especially where the ground was of 
silk, which was a very favourite material at this 
period. Inlets of lace and gauze were also 
being introduced, and those of the latter material 
were often painted with floral emblems, musical 
instruments, and so on. 

The body colour used at this time is often 
very chalky in effect ; whether this is due to the 
material not being sufficiently ground, or the use 
of inferior medium, is uncertain. 

The use of painted fans continued for some 


German and Dutch Fans. 

1. Dutch Fan. Leaf painted on skin with 
pastoral subject. Early eighteenth century. 

M. Duvelleroy. 

2. German Fan. Chicken skin leaf painted 
with Bacchus and Ariadne. Guards and sticks, 
mother-o'-pearl ; carved, painted, and gilt. Early 
eighteenth century. 

Wyatt Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum. 



time in England after they were superseded by 
coarser varieties in France, and fine French 
examples of older periods were brought with 
them by the French emigres, and were much 
appreciated here. They do not, however, seem 
to have had any influence on the type of design 
in vogue, and the three-medallion scheme con- 
trived to be monotonously the vogue until it was 
succeeded by the fashion for fans of silk or gauze 
merely decorated with spangles. 










As the majority of the expensive fans of the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were of the 
hand-screen type, of course it naturally follows 
that the cheaper kind of fan intended for ordinary 
use by ordinary people followed the lead of 
their aristocratic brethren, though the highly 
finished miniatures and rich decorations made 
the vellum or chicken skin fan a treasured object 
to be used with dignity and treated with the 
elaborate ceremony of Court etiquette, while 
the printed papers that replaced them for every- 
day use were trifles of little account and small 
price, made to serve the purpose of a few days' 
or hours' use, and then to be replaced by a fresh 
new leaf of another kind. Coryat, in his 
" Crudities/' tells us how they managed things 
in Italy in his day. In his inimitable fashion 
he notes the habits of the Italians, and is quick 
to seize on any outstanding feature wherein the 
foreign custom differed from that of England. 
It therefore seems clear that when the following 
description was penned the cheap engraved fan 
leaves were not in use here, at least not to any 
great extent. Of course, in Elizabeth's day the 
great plumed fan was an item of personal adorn- 
ment, which held an important place among all 
ladies of high degree. It was clearly the use of 
fans by the plain citizens which struck his obser- 
vant eye as being interesting, even if " frivolous." 

" Here I will mention a thing that, although 
perhaps it will seem frivolous to divers readers 


that have already travelled in Italy, yet because 
unto many that neither have been there, nor 
ever intend to go thither while they live, it will 
be a mere novelty, I will not let it passe unmen- 
tioned. The first Italian fannes that I saw in 
Italy did I observe in that space between Pizigh- 
iton and Cremona ; but afterwards I observed 
them common in most places in Italy where I 
travelled. These fannes both men and women 
of the country do carry, to coole themselves 
withal in the time of heat by often fanning of 
their faces. Most of them are very elegant and 
pretty things. For whereas the fanne consist eth 
of a painted piece of paper and a little wooden 
handle ; the paper which is fastened into the 
top, is on both sides most curiously adorned with 
excellent pictures, either of serious things tending 
to dalliance having some witty Italian verses or 
fine emblems written under them ; or of some 
notable Italian city, with a brief description 
thereof added there unto. These fannes are of 
a mean price, for a man may buy one of the 
fayrest of them for so much money as counter- 
vaileth one English groat." 

The idea of topographical ornamentation is 
one to which the Italians were specially prone, 
and it long continued in fashion ; there are 
numerous examples of fans dating from the 
eighteenth century which show scenes from a 
city or celebrated spots with " brief descriptions." 
Probably the fans noted by Coryat were, as a 


matter of fact, printed, not painted. Even in 
those days a " groat " would hardly purchase 
so elaborately decorated a leaf if all were done 
by hand. They were almost certainly engravings 
or etchings, perhaps coloured by hand in the 
manner which was so very usual during the 
eighteenth century and earlier. 

Some of these or similar leaves have been 
preserved and are valued, not only by fan collectors, 
but by collectors of engravings. Specimens are 
amongst the rarities, and while it is, of course, 
quite possible that copies of some of the many 
varieties which existed may yet be unearthed, 
they were obviously of ephemeral character, and 
would only be preserved by some happy accident 
or chance. 

Among the French unmounted fan leaves in 
the Schreiber Collection is a copy by N. Cochin 
the Elder of a screen fan engraving by Stefano 
della Bella, which, though altered and amplified, 
gives a good idea of the Italian original. French 
engravers were rightly celebrated for these 
attractive leaves. Jacques Callot, the eminent 
engraver, produced several of them, of which 
examples may be seen in the British Museum. 
One of these represents a fte on the Arno at 
Florence, which took the form of a mock battle 
or tournament, in which the Company of the 
Weavers pitted themselves against the Dyers. 
The inscription runs : " Battaglia Del Re Tessi 
e Del Re Tinta Festa Rapresentata In Firenze 


Nel Fiume D'Arno II Di XXV Di Luglio, 1619." 
For a description of this etching see Meaume, 
" Recherches sur la vie et les ouvrages de Jacques 
Callot," vol. ii. p. 287, No. 617. Nicolas Cochin 
the Elder is responsible for a handscreen with 
the subject of the triumphant return of David 
after slaying Goliath, the title inscribed is : 
" Le thrionfe de dauid. Balthazar Moncornet 
ex Gum privilegio a paris." The frame is copied 
from Callot's Florentine Fete described above. 

A German example of a paper leaf of a somewhat 
similar kind is to be found among the Schreiber 
unmounted leaves. It is signed " Christoph 
Frid D Horman, sculp." It is number three of 
a set of four, which represent ballet dancers. 
Each shows a dancer in fancy costume, and a 
musician, male or female, playing an instrument. 
This series, however, is later than those described 
above, though it carries out the same idea. 
Among Agostino Caracci's engravings is a design 
for a fan which is interesting, as it shows us a 
type of which no perfect example has survived. 
This fan has no real separate handle, but consists 
of a semicircle of feathers secured in a broad 
mount decorated with medallions of Diana and 
nymphs and satyrs. The mount most likely was 
intended to be carried out in carved ivory, or 
possibly in repoussee silver, with perhaps cameos 
in the medallions. If it were ever produced, it 
must have been a gorgeous and stately fan. 

Though a certain number of the earlier leaves 


survive, by far the greater part of those which 
exist in collections at the present day date from 
the eighteenth century. They were then im- 
mensely popular, as fans were universally carried, 
and these cheap and simple leaves had many 

They made it possible to be quite up to date 
at very small expense. A new fan leaf hot from 
the press was easily mounted, and its decorations 
bearing on some topical subject beguiled a dull 
moment, or formed a topic of conversation. 
Then, too, they were decidedly cheap, two shillings 
being a very general price for the unmounted 
leaf, so that it was easy to change them as often 
as was desired. The variety was enormous. 
There were classical subjects, Biblical subjects, 
theatrical scenes, moral fans Amoral fans also. 

The most celebrated collection of these printed 
fans is, of course, that which belonged to Lady 
Charlotte Schreiber. It contains hundreds of 
printed fan leaves mounted and unmounted, but 
so great is the variety of these trifles that it is 
quite easy to find other prints, copies of which 
are not included in her collection, and thousands 
of varieties must have been issued. 

Each country had, of course, patterns suited 
to the special tastes of its inhabitants. Many of 
the Italian fans have views of celebrated places 
and reproductions of well-known pictures, thus 
carrying out in a cheaper form the type of design 
favoured by the painters of expensive fans. There 


are several examples in the Schreiber Collection 
of these fans, one of " Apollo and the Muses," 
after the picture in the Pitti Palace at Florence 
by Giulio Romano. Another, with the subject 
" Aurora," is taken from the fresco by Guercino 
in the Villa Ludovisi at Rome. These are both 
etchings coloured by hand. I have one decorated 
in a similar may with Guide's treatment of the 
same subject. A curious Italian printed fan 
leaf is entitled : "II Paese del Matrimonio." 
Cupid stands in the centre inviting maidens to 
embark for the land of matrimony. On either 
side maps of imaginary countries, the " Paese 
del Matrimonio " and the " Terra del Celibato," 
with various symbolical names. 

The number of French printed fans is enormous, 
particularly those of a political cast. Of those 
dealing with Napoleon alone there are said to be 
nearly a thousand. Earlier in the eighteenth 
century they do not appear to have been quite 
so numerous as they were in England possibly 
hand-printed fans were more easily obtained in 
the country of their origin than over here. The 
earliest prints in France were from etched plates 
coloured by hand, and show no superiority to 
our native product as to the leaves ; but the 
sticks on which they are mounted are sometimes 
of a rather more decorative character, though, 
as a rule, they have plain ivory or wooden 

An extremely popular subject was the well- 



known song " Malbrouk," in some instances 
giving the whole thirty-one verses with music 
and illustrations ; in others only a few incidents. 
Exactly why this ditty had such an extreme 
vogue it is hard to say, but certainly some of the 
scenes as treated on these fan leaves are very 

Madame eagerly watches for tidings on her 
tower with a pre-historic telescope. 

Madame a sa tour monte 
Si haut qu'elle peut monter. 

And the nightingale " musical and melan- 
choly " is not forgotten, but is shown in detail. 

Sur la plus haute branche 
Le rossignol chanta. 

The favourite scenes for illustration are the 
" funeral," in which the body is borne on a bier 
by weeping soldiers, or is shown on a catafalque 
guarded by sentries at each corner : " Madame 
on the Tower," and " The Tomb." 

The Malbrouk craze was one of a series of 
fancies which one after another captured the 
general public, and they are all displayed on a 
leaf called " Une Folie Chasse L'Autre," which 
shows how each fashion is displayed by the 
succeeding novelty. Here the Bilboquet (cup 
and ball), the Pantin (mannikin worked by 
strings), Ramponeau the tavern-keeper, with a 
jug of beer, and others, are driven away by 


" Malbrouk," who is shown as a general issuing 
from his tent. 

The verses given below are printed on either 
side : 

Un rien suffit pour nous seduire 
La nouveautS par son at^rait 
Nous enflame jusqu'au delire 

Nous fait en rire on a tout fait 
Et chez notre nation volage 
Malbrouk est le H6ros du jour 
Chacun a son Tour 
C'est notre usage 
Chacun & son Tour. 

Au Bilbouquet Pantin succede 

Pantin fuit devant Ramponeau 
L'E16gant Ramponeau ne cede 
Que pour faire place a Janot 
La Folie qui nous guide a tout ange 
Amene Malbrouk en ce jour. 
Chacun a son Tour 
C'est notre usage 
Chacun a son Tour. 

Then the balloon ascents of MM. Charles and 
Robert in 1783 and of Mons. Blanchard hit the 
somewhat fickle fancy of the public, and to be 
in the mode the leaf had to be decorated with 
representations of a balloon, and one or other of 
the intrepid aeronauts. There are at least ten 
varieties of these fans, very probably more. 
The Schreiber Collection has four. One repre- 
sents the departure of M. Charles and M. Robert 
in their balloon in 1783. One of them is in the 
car of the balloon, the other converses with a 
group of spectators. On the right is a group of 
four persons, including two members of the 


Royal Family. On the other side are verses 
and music. 

M. Blanchard is shown in another in his balloon 
with four rudders. The inscription runs : "La 
Phisico Mecanique Ou le Vausseau Volant de 
M. Blanchard. Air. de la Meuniere." 

On a fan in a private collection Blanchard is 
represented in the central medallion in the car 
of his balloon looking down on a crowd of inter- 
ested spectators, who wave their hats. In the 
minor medallions he is shown receiving a laurel 
wreath from a female figure emblematic of Fame, 
in the other a distant view of the balloon is 
shown with a background of stars. 

Another in the same collection has a balloon in 
the centre, probably Blanchard's, as it has rudders, 
and underneath " Vive la Physique/' There are 
verses in praise of the conquest of the air couched 
in very flowery language, and prophesying that 
soon all the world would journey by air instead 
of coach, a prophecy made in 1783, and which 
yet remains unfulfilled. 

All the balloon fans are of the etched type, 
roughly coloured by hand. 

There are very many fans dealing with events 
of the reign of Louis XVI, and with scenes of the 
Revolution, which have considerable interest. 
The birth of the Dauphin in 1781 caused much 
rejoicing, and was commemorated by the issue 
of fan leaves. The inscriptions read ironically, 
when one remembers the sad fate awaiting him. 


" Le Dauphin presente par rimmortalite, la France 
saisie d'admiration offre pour hommage a son 
Prince cheri les cceurs unis et repectueuse de 
ses fidele sujets." 

The Assembly of the Notables in 1787 was 
commemorated on several fans, both hand-painted 
and printed, and in the Schreiber Collection two 
are preserved ; others deal with Necker's regime, 
Les Etats Generaux, Les Dons Patriotiques, 
1789 (aquatint), and other incidents. 

Most curious it seems that the taking of the 
Bastille, with its tragic concomitants, should have 
served as the subject for many fans. 

Then comes the era of " Liberte, Equalite, 
Fraternite," which forms the theme of several 
fans, mostly etched and hand-coloured, and 
mounted on plain wooden sticks, though a few 
are carried out in aquatint engraving, or stipple 

Royalists, however, were still catered for. An 
example was printed on silk and mounted on 
spangled gauze ; portraits of Louis XVI, and 
Marie Antoinette, and the motto worked in spangles 
on a violet ground, " Lache qui t'abandonne." 
This is a somewhat elaborate fan. One of a more 
popular type is the " Testament de Louis XVI," 
with the portrait of the King in the centre, with 
those of his son and daughter to right and left 
(stipple engraving). There was a risk in carrying 
such fans, and for those who did not venture so 
far such fans as " Le Songe " were produced. It 


English Fan. Paper leaf. " A New Game of 
Piquet now in Play among different Nations in 
Europe." Ten female figures, representing 
France, Spain, Sardinia, the Empire of Saxony, 
Russia, Poland, Britannia, Holland, Prussia, are 
seated round a table, all, excepting the last three, 
taking part in a game of piquet. On the left 
stands the Pope, Innocent XI, declining to take 
part in the game, though his chair is really at 
the table. Towards the right stands a man in 
black civilian clothes, commenting on the game, 
and on the extreme right are the Sultan of 
Turkey on horseback and Shah of Persia. 
Attached to each figure is a motto in manuscript, 
denoting the part taken in the game ; and above, 
in manuscript, the title as given above. This 
fan alludes to the intrigues of European diplo- 
macy concerning the affairs of Poland. Schreiber 
Collection. Date, about the end of the seven- 
teenth century. This appears to be the earliest 
English painted fan leaf. It is printed from an 
etched plate, and coloured by hand. The sticks 
are plain ivory, with tortoiseshell handles. The 
original case of shagreen has been preserved with 
this fan. 

Schreiber Collection. 




represents a woman sleeping by a tomb dreaming 
of Louis XVI. Over his figure is pasted a piece 
of paper, so that it only appears when looked at 
against a light. 

The Napoleonic regime is illustrated by numerous 
fans, mainly in glorification of the mighty con- 
queror of Europe. M. Henri Bouchot states that 
in one year over a hundred were issued. 

English Printed Fan Leaves. 

These form a very numerous class, and are 
naturally the most easily obtainable for English 
collectors. A very interesting feature of many 
of the fans is that they bear the dates of their 
issue and the name of their publishers, in accord- 
ance with the provisions of the Act of 1735. The 
fact that some of them are undated, in spite of 
this law, may very likely be due to the fact that 
these details were generally printed on the lower 
part of the mount, and were easily cut off in fitting 
the leaf to the sticks. 

A great number of these fans appear to have 
been published by Gamble at the sign of the 
Golden Fan, about the middle of the eighteenth 
century. He was a great believer in the advan- 
tages of publicity, and constantly advertised in 
the Oraftsman. 

The sticks of No. I, Plate XVII, are very quaint. 
The guards resemble a sea-monster, with the eye 
formed by the rivet ; and evidently the subject 
of the play, from which a scene is represented, 


is of a nautical character, as, instead of the usual 
flowers, the figures are surrounded with water- 

Probably a little earlier is No. i, Plate XXXI. 
At first sight this appears to be a Chinese fan, but 
a closer examination proves that that is not the 
case. The paper is English, and the design, though 
evidently based on an Oriental model, has not 
assimilated the true character of the original. 
It is roughly hand-coloured in tints of yellow and 
brown, and the general effect is quite good. At 
about this time imitations of all kinds of Chinese 
decorative art were fashionable. Ladies amused 
themselves with copying lacquer-ware, while 
architects and cabinet makers were busy with 
designs which, if not really Chinese, were as near 
it as they could evolve out of their inner conscious- 
ness, and from European kilns issued products 
which resembled the precious porcelains of the 
Celestial Empire. Some of the Chinese-style 
English printed fans are coloured in a far daintier 
way than the majority of the theatrical fans. 

They had such a vogue that they were used 
to commemorate events both political and domestic. 
Of the latter, the fan which has handed down to 
posterity the memory of Mr. Thomas Osborne's 
Duck Hunting (1754) (No. i, Plate XVI) gives, in 
conjunction with the manuscript account preserved 
with it, an intimate picture of a certain phase of 
eighteenth-century society. The fan is of the 
ordinary type an etched leaf, coloured by hand, 


and mounted on wooden sticks. Of the circum- 
stances under which it was issued the following 
amusing account is given by a daughter of the 
original owner : 

" Mr. Thomas Osborne, or, as he was more com- 
monly called, Tommy Osborne, was a very con- 
siderable bookseller and publisher in Gray's Inn, 
Holborn. He bought the Harleian collection of 
printed books, and published a sale catalogue. Dr. 
Samuel Johnson has been said to be the compiler 
of the catalogue. In 1754 he had a house at 
Hampstead, which was then a watering-place. A 
Captain Pratten constituted himself Master of the 
Ceremonies at the Assembly Rooms. Amongst 
the fixed residents was Mr. Scarlet, a celebrated 
optician. Captain Pratten was more particular 
in his attentions to Mrs. Scarlet than to any other 
lady, and was her inseparable companion in her 
walks and visits. As Mrs. Scarlet was remark- 
ably plain in her person, the voice of scandal 
declared that this attention was repaid by the 
use of her purse. When Mr. Osborne settled 
himself in his new house, Captain Pratten proposed 
to him that he should ingratiate himself with the 
families of Hampstead by giving a public breakfast 
for the ladies, and a duck hunting for the 

r ' Tommy Osborne, though very successful in 
business, was not esteemed very acute in private, 
and fell into the scheme, and left the whole manage- 
ment to Captain Pratten. Invitations were sent 


English Printed Fans. 

1. Mr. Thomas Osborne's Duck Hunting, 1754. 
Engraved on both sides. On one a view of the 
house of Mr. Thomas Osborne, publisher and 
bookseller at Hampstead, with a dancing tent 
and band ; and on the other a bird's-eye view of 
the gardens, with a duck hunt, and the guests 
assembled on the occasion of Mr. Osborne's 
settling into his new house on September 10, 
1754, when he gave a public breakfast to the 
ladies and a duck hunting for the gentlemen. 
(This is a souvenir fan presented to the lady guests.) 

Etchings coloured by hand, mounted on plain 
wooden sticks. 

2. The New Dance Fan, 1797. In the centre 
an oval medallion, with three figures dancing, 
with the names and music of sixteen dances. 
Published by the Proprietor November i, 1796. 
This is a stipple engraving mounted on plain 
wooden sticks. 

3. Fanology, or the Ladies' Conversation Fan. 
" This Fan improves the friendship, and sets 
forth a plan For Ladies to Chit Chat and hold 
the Tongue." 

A fan, which by means of an elaborate code 
enabled a confederate who would interpret them 
by means of a similar fan. This has a Chinese 
stick, of a kind which was imported in large 
quantities into England, and which seriously 
crippled the native industry. 

Schreiber Collection. 




to all the genteel families in the place, and 
marquees erected for the breakfast, and ducks 
were provided for the hunting. The company 
assembled, and were so happy that they were 
loath to depart. Captain Pratten was every- 
where, and, finding things went so merrily, sug- 
gested to Mr. Osborne that he had better continue 
the entertainment with a cold collation. Still 
the company lingered, and Captain Pratten and 
Mrs. Scarlet circulated in whispers that if they 
stayed they would have a dance to conclude 
the day. The company took the hint, smiling 
at their host's vanity and expense. The long 
dancing tent was put up in the courtyard, and 
the younger part of the company tripped the 
light fantastic toe till bedtime. To prolong the 
memory of this day of enjoyment, Captain 
Pratten further persuaded Mr. Osborne to have 
a fan engraved and presented to each of his lady 

Poor Tommy Osborne ! One feels sorry for his 
simplicity. Even on the commemorative fan to 
celebrate his duck-hunting it is not his figure 
that appears in the foreground, but that of the 
redoubtable Captain Pratten, accompanied by 
Mrs. Scarlet and her daughter. 

The date, where it exists, is doubly interesting, as 
it enables us not only to fix the period of the actual 
fan on which it is inscribed, but also is a guide 
to others of similar character. Take the fans Nos. 
I and 2, Plate XVII, for example. No. 2 only 

Printed Fans. 

1. A Theatrical Fan. The leaf is printed from 
an etched plate and coloured by hand, here and 
there are touches of gilt. The subject is not 
known, and is difficult to identify, as it might 
represent a scene from almost any comedy of 
the period. About 1735-45. The stick seems 
particularly suitable to the leaf. When closed 
it is seen to represent a marine monster, the 
button of the rivet forming the eye, the body 
being serpentine, finishing at the shoulders with 
a fish's tail. 

2. Etched and hand-coloured fan, with the 
imprint : " M. Gamble, according to the late 
Act. August 24, 1742." Meeting of Romeo and 
Juliet. Juliet is accompanied by the Nurse, 
and followed by a small negro page. Romeo is 
with the Friar. The colours are roughly applied, 
but they are harmonious and pleasing in effect. 
The central portion is touched here and there 
with gold paint. Mother-o '-pearl button. 




is dated, but the similarity of paper, etc., makes 
it almost certain that they were both issued by 
the same publisher at about the same time. The 
inscription on No. 2 reads : " M. Gamble, accord- 
ing to the Act, Aug. 24, 1742." The scene 
has been identified as being from Romeo and 
Juliet, the figures on the left being Juliet and 
the Nurse, Romeo and the Friar occupying the 
right-hand side. The outline and shading are 
etched, and the whole is very roughly hand- 
coloured, with touches of gold here and there. 
The sticks are of ivory, and it seems strange that 
such a very rough-and-ready treatment as to 
colour should be considered good enough ; but 
nearly all these etched leaves are tinted in the 
same perfunctory way. The painting was added 
by girls, each of whom put in one colour. They 
sat round a table, and passed the work on from 
hand to hand. 

Other very interesting fans are those which 
record the arrangement of the boxes and seats 
at the opera. These plans must have been very 
convenient, not only for the " somebodies " who 
wished to know where to look for their friends, 
but to the " nobodies " and country cousins, 
who were thus enabled to identify the brilliant 
figures in the audience, which they often found 
more interesting than the performance on the 

For those who were ignorant of the figures of 
the dances then in vogue, the fans, with full 


A portion of Fan 2 on Plate XVII, showing 
the rough way the colour was applied to the 
etched fans of the first half of the eighteenth 
century. ;* , 




directions printed on them, must have been quite 
a godsend ; and similar fan leaves, with the rules 
of whist and other games, must have been most 
convenient to card-players who were either un- 
skilled or cursed with a bad memory. 

Many of these late eighteenth-century fans 
make no pretence to artistic interest ; they 
simply form a convenient way of carrying informa- 
tion, or of affording an hour's amusement, such 
as the fortune-telling fans and those printed with 
various popular ballads. During the early nine- 
teenth century printed fans were not much used, 
but during the forties and fifties numerous litho- 
graphed fan leaves were issued, coloured in 
imitation of valuable hand-painted French originals. 
These are of very little interest, and one would 
hardly think they would deceive any one ; but I 
know of one or two which have been bought 
as " genuine antiques," the mounts being quite 
colourable imitations of the real thing. 

While the finding of a copy of any particular 
fan leaf would be difficult, and in some cases, 
no doubt, impossible, there are some for which 
the collector may well look out, as they are 
extremely interesting, making up for their lack 
of artistic merit by their value as contemporary 
records of historical events, or as throwing side 
lights on manners and customs of bygone days. 

An early one represents the Coronation of 
George II in 1727. It shows the King and Queen 
seated under a canopy with the Lion and Unicorn 


above. The champion has just thrown his 
gauntlet, and crowds of spectators, trumpeters, 
etc., fill up the composition. 

There were several fans printed to commemo- 
rate the Marriage of Princess Anne, daughter of 
George II, to William, Prince of Orange, which 
took place in 1734. They mostly make a feature 
of floral decoration, introducing orange trees 
and roses. 

Gamble published one in 1733 symbolizing 
the betrothal. The composition includes an 
orange tree on the left, with a view of the Hague 
and a rose bush in full bloom on the right, with 
a view of St. Paul's. A dove bears a missive : 
" To the lovely she who has more than 80,000 
charms/' Some doggerel verse fills up the borders. 

" Poor Fred, Who was alive and is dead," 
and of whom " There was no more to be said," x 
is commemorated by a mourning leaf, with 
Britannia weeping at his tomb. Published 1751. 

1 Here lies Fred, 
Who was alive and is dead : 
Had it been his father, 
I had much rather ; 
Had it been his brother, 
Still better than another ; 
Had it been his sister 
No one would have missed her ; 
Had it been the whole generation, 
Still better for the nation : 
But since 'tis only Fred, 
Who was alive and is dead 
There's no more to be said. 

Walpole's Memoirs of George II, 
vol. i. p. 504, 4to. ed. 


There are several dealing with George III. A 
particularly quaint one shows a very domesti- 
cated looking Britannia with looped-up draperies, 
watering trees representing the Fine Arts, while 
Justice smiles benignly on the other side ; the 
King's bust is in the centre. Circa 1761. 

Another shows the King in the midst of his 
family indulging in music. At the sides are the 
words and music of four short songs. Published 
October 16, 1781, by T. Preston. 

The joy of the nation at the recovery of George 
III in 1789 found vent in various festivities, and a 
special fan was printed for the occasion with the 
motto : " Health is restored to ONE and happi- 
ness to Millions." It is further ornamented with 
a Crown, G.R., a rose and thistle, and two scarves 
bearing the words : " On the King's Happy 

Another gives portraits of the Royal Family 
in medallions, scrolls of ribbon and leaves are 
n the background, together with the Prince of 
Wales's feathers. Published 1795. 

Fan leaves in commemoration of victories by 
land and sea were issued in considerable variety. 

" Porto Bello, taken by Admiral Vernon 1739." 
Published by Chassereau. 

Vernon's attack on Cartagena in 1741, though 
not crowned with success, is depicted on a fan 
giving a semi-bird's-eye view of the fortress and 
the hasty departure of the Spanish Admiral. 

Rodney's naval victories are the subject of a 


leaf, which shows the Admiral standing on a 
French flag, while Cupid crowns him with laurel. 
Britannia and Neptune, on either side, at the 
same time each offer him a coronet. 

There are many fans in commemoration of 
persons and events connected with the Peninsular 
War. The majority were intended for the Spanish 
market, and are less interesting to a collector of 
English fans than those meant for English use. 
Of these a fine example has a portrait of Wellington 
(head and bust), surrounded by a trophy of 
French flags and eagles. Poems relating to 
Salamanca and Vittoria fill up the sides. This 
was published by J. Lauriere, St. James's Street, 
and is found both plain and coloured. 

A curious and interesting fan is that published 
in honour of the Battle of the Nile. It is inscribed 
" Nelson and Victory/' 1798. It has no pictorial 
decoration, but there is a list of the English and 
French ships, with their captains' names, and 
in the case of the French ships such details as 
" sunk/' " burnt," " taken." Below are the figures 
of " 18 new Country Dances for 1799," with the 
names of the tunes to which they were to be 
danced. The combination is somewhat curious. 

A popular type of fan gave views of celebrated 
places, and we may well imagine that these were 
largely bought by visitors as gifts for friends 
at home. Amongst these : Ranelagh, engraved 
by N. Parr, 1751 ; The Orange Grove, Bath, 
published by Speren, 1737. A neat oval view 


of the " Crescent, Buxton," no publisher's name 
or date, and a Souvenir of Margate, embellished 
with seven small views, published by Lewis 
Wells, 1798, are interesting as showing well- 
known spots in bygone days. Hogarth's prints 
were enormously popular, and were, of course, 
utilized for fan decoration, separate scenes from 
"The Harlot's Progress" and "The Rake's 
Progress " appearing as the whole decoration of 
a leaf, or else smaller versions of the entire series 
being used on one fan. They are generally badly 
engraved, and were travesties of the originals, 
but are valued not only by fan collectors, but 
also by Hogarth enthusiasts. 

A whole group of fans deals with the subject 
of fortune-telling. They are seldom pretty, the 
greater part of the leaf being occupied by letter- 
press. The majority were issued in the last ten 
years of the eighteenth and the early years of 
the nineteenth century. It seems most extra- 
ordinary that any interest could ever have been 
taken in such silly questions and answers as those 
which appear on these fans. 

Some of the subjects engraved on the leaves 
appear quite unsuitable for their purpose, as, 
for instance, one bearing a synopsis of the history 
of England, printed in a very plain style, and 
giving a few dates and elementary facts (published 
1793) ; and a botanical fan with the names of the 
different parts of a flower. Others have maps 
either of the whole of England, or of particular 


counties. It seems probable that these fans 
were intended for use in " Young Ladies' Semin- 
aries " at dancing lessons, enabling unoccupied 
moments to be profitably employed. They are 
a very scarce type of fan, though no doubt they 
were, at the date of issue, quite cheap and 

The Church Fans are a most curious class, which 
came into use at least as early as 1732-3, when 
Gamble advertised : " The Church of England 
Fan ; being an explanation of the Oxford Almanack 
for the year 1733." Some of these fans are 
printed with Biblical scenes, others have Psalms 
and other portions of Scripture surrounded by 
garlands of flowers and scroll work. The fan 
was a necessary part of the toilet of all ladies 
of fashion in the eighteenth century, and as it 
was as indispensable a companion at church as 
elsewhere, it seems only natural that suitable 
subjects should be used to ornament it. Some 
of them are, however, surprisingly roughly executed 
when we consider that they were intended to 
accompany a full-dress toilet, such as was worn 
by ladies at church. 

It would be impossible to classify many of the 
leaves under separate headings, but under " Aids 
to Memory " we may put a number of subjects, 
such as the words and music of songs, the rules 
and scoring of games of cards, directions for the 
figures of country dances and plans showing the 
names of holders of boxes at the opera. The 


majority of fans of this class were issued in the 
second half of the eighteenth century most of 
them in the last twenty years of it. They almost 
always are very simply designed, and contain 
only the required information and a few ornamental 
scrolls or garlands. 

Further descriptions of printed fans will be found 
in Chapter III under " Cabriolet," " Church," 
" Wedding," " Mourning." 




THE different kinds of fans which are described 
in this chapter are in several cases also mentioned 
in other places ; for instance, some " mourning 
fans/' which are often found with printed leaves, 
are described in Chapter II. But for the purpose 
of easy reference these items have been grouped 
together under different headings. Taking the 
standard fan as being composed of a flexible 
leaf mounted on rigid supports, so hinged together 
that they close up over one another, the first 
two kinds described are those that differ from 
the normal, the " Cabriolet/* which has the leaf 
divided into two or more parts, and the " Brise," 
which has no leaf under this second heading. 
Many varieties are dealt with, as it was an ex- 
tremely popular type. 

Following these are fans which have special 
uses : " Lorgnette Fans/* " Church Fans/' and 
so on. This subdivision might have been carried 
further, but where only a few of any type were 
made it seems useless to give them a special 
subsection. Last of all, some fans which differ 



1. English Brise* Fan of holly wood pierced and 
painted. The decoration consists of three applied 
engravings. Pearl button. Late eighteenth or 
early nineteenth century. 

2. Ivory, pierced, gilt, and painted ; with 
medallions containing a group of figures watching 
doves, and busts of females and boys. The 
painting is in the style of Angelica Kauffmann, 
and may have been done by her. English. Late 
eighteenth or early nineteenth century. 




from the ordinary in some point, such as the 
material of which they are made. 

Brise Fans. 

Brise Fans are those which have no leaf, being 
entirely composed of some stimsh substance, 
such as ivory, bone, tortoiseshell, horn, filigree, 
silver, or wood. These materials are all slightly 
flexible, and are used in astonishingly thin slices ; 
and it is really remarkable how many such fans 
have survived with very few marks of injury, 
and is even more surprising where the material 
has been perforated and sawn into a lace-like 

Brise fans were made in the seventeenth century, 
but few existing specimens are earlier than the 
second quarter of the eighteenth century, and 
very many date from the early part of the nine- 
teenth. Most important of the eighteenth cen- 
tury brise fans are those decorated in Vernis 
Martin. Though the designs are generally 
entirely European in character, this method of 
decoration was doubtless inspired by an admira- 
tion for the lustrous polished surface of Oriental 
lacquer work. It consists of a delicate, and often 
very highly finished, painting, carried out in oil 
colours, applied very thinly. The whole surface 
of the fan was covered with colour and gilding, 
and finally received a coating of the exceptionally 
fine colourless varnish which gives its name to 
this style of decoration. This varnish was a 


Ivory Brise" Fan, painted, " Vernis Martin/' 
with the " Abduction of Helen of Troy." The 
colouring is very rich and mellow, harmonious 
tones of blue, red, and purple predominating. 
The lower part is decorated in the Chinese style. 
Back, a seaview. Louis XV period. French. 

M. Duvelleroy. 




secret product, and its ingredients were only 
known to the Brothers Martin. They flourished 
in Paris from about 1720 until 1758. The elder 
brother, who had been styled ' Vernisseur du 
roi," died in 1749, and the business was continued 
by his widow with the assistance of one of the 
other brothers. The firm had three ateliers, 
one in the Faubourg Saint Martin, one in the 
Faubourg St. Denis, and the third in the Rue 
Saint Magloire. Their earlier efforts were copies 
of Oriental lacquer, and their success in that 
direction led them to embark on the very different 
type of work with which we associate the name. 
Coach panels, pieces of furniture, cabinets, wall- 
panelling, and many small objects, such as snuff- 
boxes, etuis and memorandum tablets, used by 
fashionable people, were highly valued when 
finished in this style. 

The firm appears to have employed a number 
of painters, as the styles in which the decoration 
is carried out are very numerous. With regard 
to the fans, in the majority of cases the painting 
is divided into two parts upper and lower 
giving to some extent the effect of a fan with a 
leaf and painted stick. The character of the 
designs of the two portions often differs com- 
pletely both in subject and scheme of colour ; 
though the tone is always harmonious, the handle 
end is almost always lighter than the upper part, 
and the painting is carried out on a smaller scale. 
The connecting ribbon is in most cases close to 


the top, and is decorated in keeping with the 
rest of the fan. These fans have been faked 
and forged in considerable numbers. Genuine 
specimens in good condition are extremely rare 
and of very considerable value. It is therefore 
not surprising that unscrupulous individuals 
should make copies and pass them off as the real 
thing. Many of these copies are wonderfully 
well done, and are certainly calculated to deceive 
any one who has not made a special study of 
these fans, and it may well happen that a per- 
fectly honest dealer may offer a modern example 
for sale as genuine. Other examples, which 
through use have been rubbed and worn, and thus 
lost much of their original beauty, have been 
repainted and touched up so as to appear in 
fine condition, only just so much of signs of usage 
being allowed to remain as are inevitable where 
a fan has been handled at all. By the most 
perfect copies of Vernis Martin even the cleverest 
expert may be taken in. Such specimens have 
in the past crept into museums and the greatest 
collections, and no doubt will do so again, and 
it certainly is useless to attempt to give in writing 
any advice which would be of the slightest use 
in helping any one to distinguish them. How- 
ever, the work is so exquisite, and the talent 
required to produce such wonderful imitations so 
rare, that the minor collector is not likely to 
meet with them : he will be saved by the fact 
that they must necessarily be very expensive. 



The individuals who ply their nefarious trade in 
this direction fly at higher game. Those who 
pay high prices should buy from reputable dealers, 
and if not sufficiently expert to feel confidence 
in their own opinion should obtain that of an 
expert before purchasing. 

Fans are, however, offered as Vernis Martin 
which are merely ordinary oil paintings under 
polish or varnish, which, neither in limpidity nor 
lustre can be compared with the fine product 
of the Brothers Martin. Such fans may either 
be contemporary work by those who had not 
the correct receipt (some Dutch fans have a very 
fine varnish which approaches the real thing), 
or later eighteenth-century work carrying on the 
tradition, but minus the fine surface ; in their 
case colour engravings may take the place of 
painting, or they may be mid-nineteenth-century 
imitations, or quite modern forgeries. These last 
are almost always of the " Watteau " type of 
design, with as few figures as possible landscape 
is so much quicker and easier to paint than 
humans the execution is coarse, the figures are 
simpering, and the poses are affected with the 
wrong sort of affectation. The affectation of the 
eighteenth century was of a stately and graceful 
kind, while in the second-rate imitation it is the 
self-conscious posing of an amateur actor. The 
colouring is not of the full rich type, which belongs 
to genuine Vernis Martin, but of the somewhat 
sickly and pretty-pretty kind of pale blues, pinks, 


Brise Fans. 

1. Vernis Martin on ivory. Subject : " Tele- 
marque/' Period, Louis XV. French. 

M. Duvelleroy. 

2. Dutch Fan, mid-eighteenth century, painted 
on ivory in the Japanese taste. 

Victoria and Albert Museum. 






peagreens, and primrose tints which one associates 
with a box of fondant sweets. 

Later on in the century ivory brise fans were 
painted with the three medallions connected by 
the garlands and festoons which are so typical 
of Louis Seize fans and their English contempo- 
raries. These ovals enclose either portraits or 
fancy heads of young people or children, village 
scenes, such subjects as " The Visit," bridal 
scenes (for wedding fans), dainty painted land- 
scapes or views of country seats. 

Many of the Louis Seize brise fans were very 
small and exquisitely fretted. Doubtless the 
work was originally inspired by the Chinese ivory 
openwork fans, which figured among the admired 
curios imported in such numbers during the 
eighteenth century ; but the French ivory workers 
had adapted the style to their own genius, and 
the designs are quite different. In many cases 
the openwork consists of a succession of fine 
perforated lines, in the midst of which are sil- 
houetted wreaths and swags of flowers, and the 
three medallions which are painted as described 
above, but in some cases are carved in exceedingly 
low relief. Other contemporary fans are simply 
pierced in very simple patterns of the nature of 
a diaper, which transforms their sticks into the 
semblance of a skeleton leaf; in some cases no 
portion of the ivory is more than a thirty-second 
of an inch broad. The guards, of course, are 
stouter. These eighteenth-century brise fans may 



Cabriolet Fans. 

1. A French Fan of the Cabriolet type. Chicken 
skin and ivory. 

Schreiber Collection. 

2. Three-tiered Cabriolet Fan. A somewhat 
unusual type, with ivory carved and painted 

M. Duvelleroy. 




be distinguished from the later ones by their 
much finer workmanship and the straight outline 
at the top. Later each stick was rounded or 
pointed, but, as a rule, the Louis Seize brise 
opens to a smooth semicircular sweep. There 
are exceptions, some of the earlier having indi- 
vidually shaped sticks, and some later having 
straight tops, but in each case these are unusual. 
Contemporary with the fine ivory brise fans 
with painted and carved ornament there were, 
for less important occasions, and for those less 
favoured with this world's goods, fans of perforated 
wood, such as cedar and satinwood, in which 
the more delicate ornament was replaced by 
rather coarsely executed paintings and applied 
engravings. The three-medallion idea was almost 
always adhered to, the central picture being often 
a landscape or group flanked by fancy heads or 
portraits. Sometimes these faces were of a 
political cast, and formed a vehicle, in the case 
of French examples, for the display of loyalty. 
Portraits of the King and Queen and Bourbon 
emblems were used, also figures weeping over 
urns or graves, presumably those of Louis and 
Marie Antoinette. Some of these fans, probably 
of rather a late date, display their loyalty openly, 
others have the portraits, etc., more or less 
concealed, either by sliding sections in the guards, 
or by the method described under " Puzzle 

For the less expensive examples of late 


eighteenth-century brise fans, and those of the 
very early nineteenth, wood was much used. A 
fine-grained kind was naturally chosen, such as 
holly, which, however, has the disadvantage of 
extreme brittleness ; satinwood, sandalwood 
delightful by reason of its delicate scent and 

During the period of the Regency and to the 
end of William IV small fans were very fashion- 
able in England, and there are many very pretty 
examples extant which, without being of any 
great artistic or pecuniary value, are quite inter- 
esting by reason of their dainty finish and pretty 
colouring. Perhaps the most charming of them 
are the semi-transparent brise fans, made of 
extremely thin sticks of horn, decorated in rather 
vivid colouring, with tiny flowers in body colour. 
Forget-me-nots, roses, and heartease (all shown 
of about the same dimensions) are the favourite 
blossoms. The horn is also pierced in the parts 
which are not painted, and the result is quite 
fairy-like in effect, though, as a matter of fact, 
these horn fans are about the toughest of all, 
and are often found in absolutely perfect condi- 
tion. They are sometimes called " whalebone 
fans/ 1 but this is a misnomer. 

Contemporary fans in bone or wood are deco- 
rated in much the same way. Often there is a 
reserve not fretted, on which a subject, such as 
a landscape, a rustic group, or bunch or basket 
of flowers, is somewhat crudely depicted. Most 


of these fans appear to have been imported, and 
are probably of Dutch origin. I have lately seen 
some of these fans, which have had the nineteenth- 
century paintings washed off and pseudo-Watteau 
figures or groups of amorini executed in their 
place. These were ticketed as " Eighteenth- 
Century Minuet Fans/' and the price asked was 
correspondingly high. 

Cabriolet Fans. 

Cabriolet Fans are very scarce, and are much 
valued by collectors. They are souvenirs of a 
curious vogue which took possession of fashion- 
able Paris about the middle of the eighteenth 
century. Just as, in modern days, the joy of 
swift motion caused first bicycling and then 
motoring to be responsible for the decoration of 
a host of trifles, so a century and a half before 
the ease and rapidity of the small two-wheeled, 
one-horse vehicle, known as a " cabriolet," took 
a firm hold on the fancy of the French. An 
account of this fashionable craze is given in a 
letter from Horace Walpole, addressed to Sir 
Horace Mann, dated June 15, 1755 : 

" All we hear from France is that a new madness 
reigns there as strong as that of Pantins was. 
This is la fureur des cabriolets : Anglice, one- 
horse chairs, introduced by Mr. Child x ; they 
not only universally go in them, but wear them ; 
that is, everything is to be en cabriolet ; the men 

1 Josiah Child, brother of the Earl of Tilney. 


1. A Louis XVI fan, with exquisite carved and 
gilt sticks. Subject : " Rebecca and Eliezar." 

M. Duvelleroy. 

2. A Mandarin Fan. Paper leaf, with applied 
ivory faces and silk garments. 




paint them on their waistcoats, and have them 
embroidered for clocks to their stockings ; and 
the women, who have gone all the winter without 
anything on their heads, are now muffled up in 
great caps, with round sides, in the form of, 
and never less than, the wheels of chaises/' 

Naturally, fans were not an exception to the 
universal application of this form of decoration, 
and painted and printed leaves showing the 
vehicles in use, and other scenes of Parisian life, 
were the mode of the moment. 

The representation of this variety of fan in 
the Schreiber Collection contrasts the cabriolet 
with other methods of motion ; sledging, skating, 
and a child's go-carriage being depicted. An 
essential point about these fans is that the leaf 
is divided into two with a space left between, 
the ornamentation of the two parts being inde- 
pendent. In rare cases there are three divisions. 
In some way probably this refers to the large 
wheels of the cabriolet, but the connection is 
not very clear. Perhaps the two fashions may 
simply have come into vogue simultaneously, 
and the new style fan have been christened by 
the name of the highly popular vehicle, which 
was almost invariably the subject of its deco- 

Cabriolet fans appear to have been always of 
French origin, and in most cases are of fine work- 
manship, though some are rather coarsely finished. 
They are in any case a rare variety, of consider- 


able interest, and should certainly be acquired 
if opportunity occurs. 

Puzzle or Mystery Fans. 

Puzzle or Mystery Fans were much in vogue 
during the eighteenth century. They owe their 
interest to the fact that instead of the two subjects 
back and front which are shown on the 
ordinary fan, these display four pictures, or sets 
of pictures, according to the way they are 
manipulated. In some cases the subjects are 
all of ordinary character, and the simple mystifica- 
tion involved by the fan changing from blue to 
red, green, or brown at the will of the owner was 
the object of the " puzzle." In other fans, how- 
ever, while the pictures shown when the fan 
opened in the ordinary way were landscapes or 
classical subjects, the others were by no means 
of an equally innocent character, and in some 
cases were decidedly coarse. They are always 
of the brise type, and the ribboning is so arranged 
that they open equally well from right to left, 
or left to right. The sticks are rather more 
numerous than is ordinarily the case, as they 
have to be strung so that only exactly half of 
each is visible at a time. 

Each stick had four portions of decoration on 
it ; on the left of the front the design shown on 
the front when the fan opened from left to right ; 
on the right of the front the design visible when 
it opened from right to left, the back being 


treated the same way. The utmost exactitude 
Was necessary in order that no trace of the secon- 
dary subject should appear, and so well is this 
done that I have known of a fan having been 
in a collection for years, and even used several 
times, without its owner knowing of the " mystery." 
Engravings are in many cases employed for 
the decoration, but paintings are also used ; those 
that I have seen were somewhat carelessly executed. 
Many brise fans of the English Regency period 
were rather eccentric in design. One such has the 
guard ornamented to represent a quiver, and 
each stick is carved and painted to resemble an 
arrow, with rather an unusual amount of feather- 
ing ; the pin, of course, runs through the head 
of the arrows. It is curious rather than pretty. 
Another fan has the edge cut into battlements, 
and the painting on the sticks is a view of a 
castle wall, which forms a background to a group 
of knights and dames starting out on a hawking 

Lorgnette or Quizzing Fan. 

Perhaps the secret, or one of the secrets, of 
the fascination that fans have for so many 
of us is the light they throw on the ways 
and manners of the days when they were made. 
The Lorgnette Fan could only have had a vogue 
in a period when affectation was the " correct 
thing." It is to all appearance an ordinary 
small fan, with silk or gauze leaf ornamented 


1. Lorgnette Fan. French. Leaf. White 
taffeta silk, ornamented with spangles of different 
sizes and shapes, arranged to form a border of 
circles of three ; of these the centres have been 
cut away and replaced by white net, forming 
transparencies, through which the user could 
observe all that was going on while affecting 
to screen her eyes. The binding and border of 
silver paper. The sticks, bone pierced. 

With this fan is preserved the original case of 
red leather, lined with white satin, pink velvet, 
and silk gimp. 

2. Silk Fan, painted and gilt, with flowers 
and trophies, decorated also with mother-o '-pearl 
coloured straw and spangles. The sticks are of 
carved ivory, silvered and gilt. Late eighteenth 

3. Silk Fan, painted and gilt, with flowers and 
trophies, and decorated with spangles. In the 
centre is a panel painted with three figures. 
German. Late eighteenth century. 




with spangles or painting, the decoration finished 
with a rather heavy border round the top. 
Often this consists of interlaced ovals or circles 
in spangles, sometimes there is an applique 
of coarsish silk lace. If examined more closely, 
it will be noted that in this border several of 
the circles differ in appearance from the rest ; the 
solid silk or skin has been cut away from the 
back of them, and they are transparent. It might 
be imagined that this is a feature in the scheme 
of decoration, but it is not so. These open-work 
circles are, as a matter of fact, peepholes, through 
which the owner, while pretending to screen her 
eyes with her fan from a risquJ scene in a play, 
or other sight which ought to have offended her 
modesty, but in reality only excited her interest, 
could see all that was going on. After all, it can 
only have been an affectation of affectation, 
because these fans were well known, and cannot 
have deceived any one by the ruse. There is 
another variety of the lorgnette fan which is 
rather different. The entire border consists of 
large open circles, and in one of the guards is 
fixed a magnifying glass. This kind of fan was 
intended for use by short-sighted people, or as 
a substitute for an opera glass. The idea was 
quite a good one. 

Both these kinds of fan were made at the end 
of the eighteenth century and the beginning of 
the nineteenth, and were decorated in exactly 
the same way as other fans of that period. The 


* *** 

' . , ' , 



published especially intended for use in 


Gamble had published in 1732-3 " The Church 
of England Fan," and " Moses Striking the 
Rock " in 1740, and besides these numerous fans 
painted with Biblical scenes were available. 

Later on in the century several other church 
fans appeared, possibly in response to a vigorously 
worded protest against the mundane decorations 
of fan leaves, which appeared in the Lady's Magazine 
March, 1776. The " Female Reformer " says she 
was " really ashamed to see naked cupids, and 
women almost so, represented as sleeping under 
trees, while dancing shepherds and piping fawns 
compleated the shameful groupe " on a fan which 
she had " observed in a Dissenting Place of 

The following printed leaves, probably intended 
as church fans, are included in the Schreiber 
Collection : 

" The Birth of Esau and Jacob." In a large 
open hall Rebekah in bed attended by female 
servants, two of whom hold the newborn infants, 
while another attendant washes vessels at a 
table. Below is the inscription : " The Birth 
of Esau and Jacob. Gen. 25." Etching, hand 

" Moses Striking the Rock." A scene repre- 
senting the encampment of the Israelites in the 
wilderness. In the centre Moses is standing by 
the rock, from which a stream of water issues, 


while various figures drink or draw water from 
it. " Published by M. Gamble according to the 
late Act, 1740." Etching hand coloured, mounted 
on plain ivory sticks. 

" St. Paul Preaching at Athens." On a flight 
of steps among classical ruins before a city St. 
Paul addressing an audience. Etching coloured 
by hand, mounted on plain ivory sticks. 

" Church fan, 1796." Two medallions with com- 
positions containing angels, from designs by the 
Rev. W. Peters ; around them the Lord's Prayer, 
the Commandments, and the Creeds ; above, 
prayers for the King's Majesty and the Royal 
Family, and in the centre the Holy Ghost, with 
three cherubs, inscribed, " New Church Fan 
Publish'd with the Approbation of the Lord 
Bishop of London." Entered at Stationers' Hall 
by the proprietors May I, 1796. Stipple engraving 
uncoloured, mounted on plain wooden sticks. 

" Chapel fan, 1796." In the centre a group of 
' The Resurrection of a Pious Family," after a 
picture by the Rev. W. Peters, and above it two 
figures in adoration, in the centre above the 
inscription : " Glory to God in the Highest," 
and on the fan various psalms and hymns, with 
cherubs interspersed, inscribed : " Chapel Fan 
entered at Stationer's Hall by the Proprietor, 
July i, 1796. Stipple Engraving uncoloured 
mounted on plain wooden sticks." 

A very large number of subjects are included 
in " Theatrical Fans," and many are extremely 


quaint and interesting, as they show the curious 
effect of the custom almost universally followed 
of the players wearing the ordinary costume 
of the day, only occasionally modified to suit 
the supposed period of the action. They are 
seldom at all well executed, and the colour is 
generally rather dead and uninteresting. 

The Casket Scene from the Merchant of Venice 
represents the moment when Portia shows the 
three caskets to the Prince of Morocco. It was 
published by Hollis in 1746. 

" Romeo and Juliet " was published by Gamble 
in 1742. 

" Henry VIII." The scene represents the Royal 
Christening, published by Gamble in 1745, and 
there are hundreds of others. 

The following fans of the " Theatrical " group 
would be interesting if they could be discovered. 
The particulars are quoted from " Polly Peachum," 
by Charles E. Pearce, 1913, p. 127 : 

" Here are a few of the advertisements that 
appeared during the run of the [Beggar's] Opera. 

" ' A New and Entertaining Fan, consisting of 
14 of the most Favourite Songs taken out of 
the Beggar's Opera, with the musick in proper 
keys within the compass of the Flute, curiously 
engraved on a Copper Plate. Sold for the author 
at Mr. Gay's Head, in Tavistock Street, Covent 
Garden.' " 

Other fans of the handscreen type were also 
issued in honour of the opera. 


" ' This day is published the Beggar's Opera 
Screen, on which is curiously engraved on Copper 
Plates the principal Captives of the All-Conquering 
Polly plainly described by Hieroglyphicks (i.e. 
caricatures), and on the Reverse their Amorous 
Letters and Declarations to that celebrated 
Warbler of Ribaldry. The whole illustrated and 
adorn'd in their proper natural Colours with 
Mottos suited to their Quality. Printed for the 
Inventor and sold at the Fan Shop next door 
to White's Chocolate House in St. James Street ; 
at Mrs. Vuljohn's at the Golden Leg in Cranbourn 
Alley ; at Mrs. Jackson's at the Three Fans 
against Salisbury Street in the Strand ; at Mr. 
Markham's at the Seven Stars under St. Dunstan's 
Church, Fleet Street ; and at Mrs. Robotham's 
at the Red M and Dagger in Pope's head Alley 
against the Royal Exchange on Cornhill. Price 
2s. 6d.' " 

Mourning Fans. 

During the period prescribed by etiquette for 
the wearing of mourning, fans with leaves 
decorated in black were used. These were 
sometimes uncoloured prints and etchings, or 
engravings or pen-and-ink drawings on chicken 
skin or paper. Sometimes the subject was of 
a sad kind, but others are merely classical or 
Biblical of the ordinary type in use at the time. 
Mourning fans were in use in France after the 
execution of Louis XVI, which contained con- 



cealed portraits of the King and Queen. Some 
of them are to be found worked out among the 
leaves and branches of a weeping willow, others 
are only visible when certain of the folds are 
brought together by not opening the fan entirely. 

These fans aroused the ire of the Republican 

" Les signes royaux reparaissent avec plus 
d'audace et de f ureur que j amais. Outre la maniere 
de se reconnaitre en presentant d'une certaine 
fagon sa canne courte, a pomme unie d'acier ; 
outre les signaux de la main, etc., on reprend le 
deuil des victimes et il se porte sur des event ails 
noirs garnis d'un lise*re blanc ; au milieu, un 
panier de fleurs blanches, qui resserre par le pli 
de trois brins de Teventail presente une superbe 
fleur de lys. Get eventail etait au grand ordre 
du jour a la derniere reunion de Clichy et c'etait 
quelque chose de vraiment incroyable que le zele 
qu'on a mis a s'en procurer. Get evantail vraiment 
unique a cependant un rival aussi etonnant aussi 
de'licieux aussi admirable. II est seme de fleurs ; 
et dans leur heureux contours le pli de quelques 
brins donne le profil des malheureuses et augustes 
victimes, dont les manes reposent parmi les 
fleurs. C'est ainsi qu'on prelude aux honneurs 
a rendre aux deux epoux Capet." Journal des 
Hommes Libres (3 thermidor an IV). In the same 
number (supplement) a third variety of these 
fans is mentioned : 

" Le merite plus cache n'en est que plus precieux ; 


il n'ont absolument 1'air que (Tune plaisanterie, 
et le genie qui y a place le signd cheri du salut a 
si bien pris ses dimensions qu'on se donnerait 
au diable qu'il n'est la que par hasard. Vous 
voyez en effet sur ces derniers se developper 
pele-mele tous les papiers monnaie qui on suivi 
et servi la Revolution Qu'en voulez vous dire ? 
Attendez done. . . . Juste au milieu, depasse du 
timbre sec d'un assignat de vingt-cinq livres la 
triste figure de Louis Capet. . . . et vous croyez 
que celui-la n'est pas gentil ! " 

In November of the same year this paper once 
more took up the cudgels against these Royalist 
fans. This time it was one of the weeping willow 
variety showing the profiles of the King, the 
Queen, Madame Premiere, and of Louis XVII. 
These fans were sold by Madame Despeaux, 
Rue de Graumont, at the price of 180 to 200 

English mourning fans are fairly numerous. 
They may be found with both painted and printed 
leaves, but seldom have any pretensions to 
artistry, being, as a rule, commonplace in design 
and perfunctory in execution. There were several 
varieties published at the time of the death of 
George III. One shows a figure of Britannia laying 
a wreath at the foot of a pedestal, surmounted 
by a bust of the late King. Another of a some- 
what similar character depicts a weeping female 
figure leaning against a pedestal, on which 
stands an urn. There are weeping willows in 


the background, which part to show a distant 
view of Windsor Castle. They are both etched ; 
the last has also roughly stencilled pansies arranged 
as a border along the top. They are both 
mounted on black wooden sticks, and appear 
to be issued by the same publisher, whose 
name, however, does not appear on either of 
them. It is curious what a hold the memory 
of the poor distraught old King had on the affec- 
tions of the bulk of the nation ; at the time 
these leaves were printed he had been lost to the 
country for years, but his homely virtues had 
not been forgotten, and many must have been 
glad to buy these mementoes. 

Wedding Fans. 

In their trousseaux French brides of the 
eighteenth century included a large number of 
fans. These were not all intended for their own 
use, but according to the custom of the time 
were offered to the lady guests as souvenirs 
of the event. On the occasion of a Royal 
wedding they were extremely costly and beau- 
tiful. For example, on the marriage of Marie 
Liczinska the fans in her corbeille numbered 
thirty-five ; they were furnished by Ticquet, 
fan maker to the King, and the cost of their 
manufacture was 3,627 livres. 

In 1745 the Dauphin married his first wife, 
Marie-Therese Antoinette, daughter of Philip V, 
and her thirty-six fans were valued at 3,855 livres, 


and were distributed among the ladies of the 
Court. Among them was one of which a short 
description is given. " A fan of wood and carved 
mother-o'-pearl, encrusted with goldwork. It has 
a skin mount." The value was 474 livres (Archives 
Nat. Manages du Dauphin, fils de Louis XV. 
Recits 0*3252). His second wife, Marie Josephe 
de Saxe also had thirty-five fans, one of which 
is described as being " a fan of wood, mother- 
o'-pearl and ivory, decorated with carved gold 
work, and having a beautiful skin mount. This 
fan alone cost 456 livres. 

It was de rigueur in eighteenth-century times 
for a bride of the aristocratic class to present to 
each guest a gift in the shape of a purse. The 
ladies who were present also received a fan, and 
very possibly the numerous fans which represent 
weddings may originally have been souvenirs of 
this description. 

There are in existence a considerable number 
of fans on which Royal marriages are depicted, 
also the betrothal of Royal personages, and the 
signing of marriage settlements. It is sometimes 
assumed that these fans were made for the use 
of the principal personages represented, but it 
is much more likely that in most cases they are 
souvenirs of the events depicted given to those 
present. In many cases they are not intended as 
accurate transcripts of the actual scene, but are 
allegorical groups in which the bride and bride- 
groom are shown in the guise of gods and 


Publick, and not trouble them with quackish 
Epistles quite foreign to the Purpose/' 

This seems to have snuffed Hylton out, for no 
more of his " quackish " epistles appear. 

Gamble also published a fan in honour of this 
very popular match, entitled " The Orange Tree." 
It is not signed, but can be identified from the 
description given in the Craftsman, August 25, 
1733. It has on one side of the composition an 
orange tree in fruit, on the other a rose tree in 
flower, and in the centre a dove bearing a missive 
addressed " To the Lovely She Who has more 
than 80,000 Charms/' 

It may be that the " 80,000 Charms " was 
intended as a somewhat cynical reference to the 
80,000, which was the sum allotted as the 
Princess's dowry ! It may have given offence, 
as it was subsequently modified to 30,000. 

Other printed wedding fans are those in honour 
of the marriage of the Prince of Wales (after- 
wards George IV) with Caroline of Brunswick. 
One called " The Royal Pair " shows their por- 
traits and the Royal Arms of Great Britain and 
Brunswick. Another, " published at Sudlow's 
Fan Warehouse, 191, Strand," consists of a medley 
of prints, riddles, etc., and a frieze of caricature 
busts of men and women, with portraits in the 
centre of the Prince and Princess. 

Another, " The Illustrious Pair/' with medallion 
portraits and the Prince of Wales's feathers and 
motto, and a festoon of flowers and ribbons, was 


published January 18, 1795, by T. Reed, 133, 
Pall Mall. There were also fan leaves published 
in France in honour of the marriage of Louis XVI 
with Marie Antoinette, and of the marriage of 
Napoleon and Marie Louise. 

A most interesting fan, in honour of the 
marriage of Louis XIV, which is included in the 
Schreiber Collection, has already been described 
(p. 27). There is also in the same collection a 
fan decorated with a representation of the 
marriage of Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany, 
afterwards the Emperor Leopold II of Austria, 
with Maria Teresa, daughter of Charles III of 
Spain. The scene is in the church at Innsbruck. 
Motto : " Aguila y Leon a un Laza unidos," and 
on the right a cupid with the arms of Austria, 
and the motto : " Primero seran muertos que 
vencidos " ; floral and gilt ornament. On the 
reverse two cupids lighting torches, and sprigs 
of flowers. It is painted in water colour on skin. 

Cut Vellum or Decoupe Fans. 

These are amongst the earliest European folding 
fans. They enjoyed an extreme vogue during 
the latter part of the sixteenth century and 
throughout the seventeenth. They were gene- 
rally made of vellum, but sometimes of tough 
paper, and were cut with the utmost accuracy 
to resemble the embroidery of cut linen and 
stitchery, which was so typical of the period 
when they were fashionable. Comparatively 



few of them have survived, but they appear 
in numerous portraits, so it is evident that 
they must have been in very general use. 
They were sometimes adorned with insertions 
of mica, and were mounted on ivory sticks. 
There is an extremely fine specimen in the Cluny 
Museum, which is most ingeniously mounted, 
the sticks and mica passing through slits in the 
vellum. In this example the chief part of the 
decoration consists of small paintings on the 
mica insertions. They consist of classical emblems, 
trophies, and geometrical designs. In other fans 
there are sometimes " reserves " of uncut vellum, 
which form the ground for finely painted minia- 
tures ; but the majority, if we may judge from 
their counterfeit presentments, were of vellum 
cut all over as if it were needlework. 

Pierre de 1'Estoile, in the " Isle of the Herma- 
phrodites/' 1588 (quoted by Uzanne in " The 
Fan," English trans., 1884), describes the effeminate 
King decked with necklaces of pearls, with rings, 
with earrings, with pads of velvet, and so on. 
He gives an account of the fan he used with 
much detail : 

" In the King's right hand was placed an 
instrument which folded and unfolded at a tap 
of the finger what we here call a fan ; it was 
of vellum, cut out as delicately as could be, with 
lace round it of the same stuff. It was a good 
size, since it was intended to serve as a parasol 
to prevent his becoming sunburnt, and to give 


some coolness to his delicate complexion. . . . 
All those I was able to see in the rest of the 
rooms had likewise Fans of the same kind or 
else made of taffetas, with lace of gold or silver 
for a border." 

M. Germain Bapst (quoted by M. A. Flory, 
" A Book about Fans ") has suggested that the 
fan described above, as now preserved in the 
Cluny Museum, may be the very one which was 
described by Pierre de TEstoile. The King of 
whom he wrote being no other than Henri III, it 
is of course possible ; but such fans were not 
unusual, and though as a survival it is almost 
unique, when it was made, it was no doubt but 
one of many. 

Leather Fans. 

This material was used in making fans in the 
sixteenth century, and many were imported 
into France from Spain. In 1594 the statutes 
of the Master Leather Gilders (quoted by 
M. Natalis Rondot) contained the following 
article : 

" May furnish . . . Fans made with outer 
lamb's skin taffety or kid enriched or em- 
broidered embellished as it may please the 
merchant and lord to command." 

These may have been folding fans, but were 
more likely to have been of the screen type. 

Perfumed leather fans were also imported from 
Spain, and Mdle. de Montpensier in her " Memoires" 


mentions the fact that the Queen Mother (Anne 
of Austria) held one constantly. 

Fans of Silk and other Textile Fabrics. 

The use of silk for fans was not uncommon in 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as we find from 
entries in inventories. Exactly what form such 
fans took must be a matter for surmise, as no par- 
ticulars are given, but most probably the material 
was stretched on a frame and embroidered by way 
of decoration, and possibly edged with a fringe 
of feathers. The handle was of precious metal, 
ivory, or carved wood. For folding fans it was 
not a usual material until towards the close of 
the eighteenth century, though specimens are 
known, such, for example, as the embroidered 
Dutch fan in the Wyatt Collection at the Victoria 
and Albert Museum a heavy and rather clumsy 
specimen. Many Louis Seize fans, however, and 
their English contemporaries are of silk, with the 
usual three subjects painted on them. The silk 
generally used appears to be of a special quality 
intended for the purpose ; it is fine, even, and 
clear, yet very light. It makes a good surface 
for painting on, taking the colours well. The 
oval or other shaped panels are almost always 
surrounded with one or two rows of closely set 
spangles, which are also introduced very frequently 
into the borders and elsewhere. These spangles 
are most generally round or oval in shape, and 
sewn on with fine stitches. There is seldom any 


other embroidery introduced, though occasionally 
an example is found with small leaves, simulated 
by a few flat stitches of floss silk, but as a rule 
the rest of the ornament is painted. Contemporary 
and very similar to these in general appearance 
are the colour printed silk fans, which, as far as 
I know, were all of English origin. There were 
many charming subjects carried out in this way 
at the end of the eighteenth century and the 
beginning of the nineteenth. They were especially 
intended for use on fans, and were either mounted 
direct on the satin as printed, or cut out and 
applied to gauze or silk, the latter course being 
the more usual. They are often very charming in 
effect, and are far preferable to the very trite 
performances which passed muster as " hand- 
painted " leaves at about the same time. The 
rest of the leaf, not occupied by the prints, is 
filled with arabesques and slight wreaths, gar- 
lands, and other like devices, either painted or 
worked in sequins. The colour of these prints 
is rich and varied, and the groundwork of the 
silk and the glitter of the sequins being mellowed 
by time, the effect is charmingly harmonious. 

The delightful silk fan illustrated, Plate XXVIII, 
is in the Wyatt Collection at the Victoria 
and Albert Museum, and is a very good example 
of this genre, though perhaps the spangling is 
not so well and evenly done as in some specimens. 
The central medallion an oval-shaped colour 
print after Fragonard is very fine, the small side 


panels not quite so good, but they are all very 
pretty. The smaller medallions are painted in 
blue and white, and are inspired by Wedgwood's 
jasper- ware " cameos " ; but the subjects are not 
of the classical type which he generally affected, 
being rustic figures, a boy and bird figuring on 
one. The disadvantage of these silk and spangle 
fans, whether painted or printed, lies in the 
wrong side. The fabric did not lend itself to the 
addition of a reverse, as paste would have perished 
the silk and made it crack ; so on the wrong side, 
instead of a delicate painting, which is found on 
the earlier fans, or at worst a plain leaf, there is 
a medley of stitches often very haphazard in 
arrangement. It seems that the clever crafts- 
men of those days, who were so deft and skilled 
in many ways, ought to have found some better 
plan. Silk fans are very liable to split about 
the centre fold, and care should be taken not to 
stretch them too much when opening, and not 
to keep them open. 

Following the Louis Seize type of fan in England 
(where it continued in use a long time after it 
had ceased to be made in France), and in France 
itself after the interregnum in the world of better- 
class fans which followed the Revolution, came 
the small fan, which is known as the " Empire." 
It rarely exceeds seven inches in length, and is 
often smaller ; but the mount is often of a fair 
width, as the length from head to shoulder is 
very short proportionately. These fans were 


generally made with a leaf of some textile fabric, 

silk, net, gauze, satin, and lace being all used. 

Sometimes they were painted, but so many were 

decorated with spangles that those otherwise 

decorated may be considered exceptional. In 

addition to the ordinary round or oval spangles 

there were many other shapes, flowers, stars, 

leaves, and crescents. Also there were panels 

stamped out of matted gilt metal, which exactly 

fitted one side of the fold, so that when open the 

fan had the appearance of fretted metal backed 

with net. The variety of these fans was endless, 

and they are often very dainty and attractive, 

taking their places as accessories to the costumes 

of the time in a very delightful way. They run 

through all shades of colour when made of silk, 

the favourite tones being a rosy red and a rather 

deep bluish green, the red being more often 

decorated with gold spangles, while either gold 

or silver is used for the green. Metallic threads 

are also often introduced. The spangles were 

worked into very elaborate patterns sometimes, 

but it by no means follows that the involved 

designs are the most successful. Sometimes crude 

attempts at representing figures are attempted 

by means of silk applique on gauze, the dresses 

being liberally bestrewed with the inevitable 

spangles and the flesh painted in gouache. On 

the whole, the most satisfactory are the least 

pretentious ; for instance, a red taffeta silk fan 

with two rows of small gold spangles round the 


top, between which is worked in still more minute 
spangles a Greek key border. On the field of 
the leaf they are distributed freely, graduating 
from very close set rows near the top to about 
an inch apart near the shoulder, which is out- 
lined by two close set rows. The bone, dyed 
a deep crimson, is fretted and inlaid with gold 
plaques, the guard is fretted, backed with gilt metal 
and set with ruby pastes surrounded by gilt beads. 
However, the more ornate, though heavy in 
appearance, were not so actually, and no doubt 
harmonized with the costumes with which they 
were intended to be worn. They are sometimes 
of the most extreme elaboration ; not only are 
the sequined designs very intricate, but the 
groundwork consists of a combination of materials, 
such as silk and gauze, or silk and net, the silk 
portion being further inlet with cut lace or tulle. 
Mica and gelatine insertions were not uncommon, 
and the inventiveness of the makers found an 
outlet in combinations and devices more ingenious 
than artistic. The thin materials were most 
usually black or white, but sometimes the gauze 
was coloured, and then the fan maker had 
additional arrow in his quiver, and gloried in a 
kind of cross chequer of combination, using golden 
spangles on the red gauze and silver on the 

Another charming specimen, probably of English 
make, is of white gauze, the spangles arranged 
borders to tiny oval appliques of satin, seven ii 


number, and painted cameo fashion, blue and 
white. Oval silver spangles are arranged as 
laurel wreaths, and a powdering of gold stars 
dotted equidistant covers the ground. The mount 
is of simply pierced ivory, and the guards have 
Wedgwood jasper cameos inset, framed in very 
finely cut steel ; the ivory of the guards is 
pierced and backed with thin gold metal, hardly 
thicker than paper, stamped in a tiny diaper 
pattern. Some of the mounts are made of bone, 
dyed a curious saffron shade, some are also dyed 
green ; but I do not recollect having seen one 
dyed blue, and blue silk leaves are not common. 

The lorgnette fans described elsewhere belong 
to this type of fan, and are decorated in much 
the same way. 

The guards of Empire fans were often pierced 
and inlet with small pseudo-cameos of Wedgwood's 
jasper, glass, or jet. Cut steel stars and ovals 
were also ornaments which were much used, 
but the greater number were simply fretted and 
backed with metallic foil, either plain gilt or 

Expanding Fans. 

These fans were intended to be carried in 
the hand-bag or reticule " ridicule " to the 
scoffers which was so generally carried by 
ladies of polite society during the first half of 
the nineteenth century. The leaf was not 
attached to the sticks, on which, when closed, 



it slipped up and down. When the fan was 
extended it was held firmly in place by the 
angle of the sticks, and was of the size and had 
the appearance of an ordinary fan. One in my 
possession is of sandalwood, with a green paper 
leaf, which is pierced by a star-shaped punch, 
so that the effect is similar to that of a powdering 
of star-shaped spangles. This is probably only 
about eighty years old, but they were made 
much earlier, and in more elaborate designs, 
though not, I think, with hand-painted leaves 
of high quality. 

Theatre and Opera Fans. 

There were many varieties of these, which 
were not, as one might imagine, an especially 
fine fan suitable for full-dress performances 
at the opera, but rather ordinary plain-looking 
fans, on which were printed a list of sub- 
scribers, together with the numbers of their 
seats or boxes. Lady Charlotte Schreiber, in 
her " Fans and Fan Leaves, English," comments 
on the rarity of more than one seat being regis- 
tered under one name. An early example gives 
the plan of the King's Theatre in 1788, when the 
Duke of Cumberland occupied with the Duchess 
the centre box in the pit tier ; above them the 
Duke and Duchess of Gloucester ; on the next 
tier higher the Prince of Wales and Mrs. 
FitzHerbert had a box, in which the Duke of 
York had a seat. About this fan the following 


advertisement appeared in The Times, Tuesday, 
January i, 1788 : 


To the Subscribers and frequenters of 
The King's Theatre 

Last Saturday were published according to 
Act of Parliament. 

The delivery however was put off until the re-opening of 
the Opera House next week for the purpose of presenting them 
in the best state of improvement. 

These FANS, calculated to present at one view both the 
number of boxes, including the additional ones, names of 
subscribers, etc., have been carefully compared with the plan 
of the house as kept at the office and will be sold only by the 

Mrs. H. M., No. 81, Haymarket, 

where she will receive with respectful gratitude any commands 
from the ladies and wait on them if required. 

Another gives the plan of the Opera House 
in 1797. In this plan Mrs. FitzHerbert is shown 
to have a box to herself, the Prince of Wales 
and the Duchess of Marlborough have two each ; 
others with a box to themselves are the Duke of 
York, the Margravine of Auspach, the Marquis 
of Queensbury, and Thos. Coutts, Esq. It was 
published by N. Cock. 




IT is almost a certainty that the first folding 
fans of the semicircular type, to which for the 
last two hundred and fifty years the greater 
number of European fans have belonged, were 
introduced into the West from China (which 
was most probably their original home) by the 
Portuguese in the beginning of the sixteenth 
century. In those days the voyage to China 
was a very long and adventurous journey 
round by the Cape of Good Hope, but the pros- 
pects of trade were bright, and King Emanuel of 
Portugal sent an embassy under escort of eight 
ships of his fleet to Peking and obtained a limited 
permission to trade, Canton being the specified 
port opened to him. The English having no 
direct trade with China, it is most probable that 
the plaited Oriental fan was an expensive and 
scarce luxury until the days of Charles II. His 
Queen being a Portuguese, and therefore able 
to obtain Chinese goods, such as lacquer, cabinets, 
and painted wall papers, with comparative ease, 



brought numerous examples of such Oriental 
curiosities with her, and they became fashion- 
able fads, and with them came, no doubt, the 
fans. Evelyn recounts in 1664 how he went to 
a collection of rarities brought by the East Indian 
ships for the Jesuits of Paris. Among them were 
" fanns," such as were used by English women, 
but with much longer handles. These are men- 
tioned as rarities, showing that at that date many 
of them had not reached England. Direct English 
commercial intercourse with China only began 
in 1735 with the union of the two East India 
Companies, and from that date to 1834 an enor- 
mous amount of trade was carried on between 
the two countries, practically entirely through 
the port of Canton. 

With fans so extremely fashionable in Europe, 
naturally enough large numbers of them were 
imported by the Company. They were a part 
of the stock-in-trade of the East India shops, 
who made a speciality of such toys and trinkets 
imported from the Orient as pleased the tastes 
of their fashionable clientele. Tea, porcelain 
" images," and the equipage of the tea-table, 
India paper and fans were all sure of a ready sale. 
On the whole, though quite expensive in many 
cases, these imported knick-knacks were looked 
on as hardly dignified enough for rooms of state 
or for full-dress occasions, and Chinese fans, how- 
ever beautiful, would not have been considered 
correct for use at Court ceremonies. 


The greater number of the fans which came to 
Europe were of a very inferior type to those 
which were appreciated in China. The subtlety 
and delicacy of the decoration which appealed 
to the connoisseurs of the Celestial Empire was 
not understood by either the merchants who 
bought the goods in Canton, nor by their European 
purchasers. So, as with almost every other kind 
of craft work which found a European market, 
special goods were made for export far inferior 
in style and execution to those which met with 
native approval. In many cases the decoration 
is coarse and rough, often slovenly and careless ; 
but the principal fault of most of the " Canton " 
goods is over-elaboration and a mass of un- 
necessary and trivial detail. Where a decorative 
masterpiece (in the opinion of a Chinese) might 
bear simply a few strokes so placed as to indicate 
a thought of the artist's mind, or even a few 
characters of exquisite writing placed with con- 
summate skill in absolutely the right spot, the 
fans intended for the " Europe Trade " are packed 
with figures, and meaningless objects are intro- 
duced just for the sake of filling a certain space 
and giving an appearance of elaboration. 
" Mandarin " fans (so called) of vivid colouring, 
with the faces painted on applied ivory, were, 
and I believe still are, sold at a higher or lower 
price according to the number of faces which 
they contain. 

The fans imported ; n the eighteenth century 



were often either sketched in ink with a brush 
and filled in with colour, or were printed with 
the requisite outline from a copper plate (an 
accomplishment taught the Chinese by the Jesuit 
missionaries), and afterwards hand-coloured. It 
is often extremely difficult to decide by which 
of these processes the decoration has been carried 
out. The brush lines are so thin and wiry that 
they often look almost as if printed or drawn 
with pen and ink. If, however, a high-power 
magnifying glass is employed, the different quality 
of line will at once be noticeable. An etched 
line is always a trifle raised, because in printing 
the ink is held in the grooves of the plates and 
the paper forced by pressure into these to absorb 
the ink ; a brush line is laid on the paper and is 
quite flat. On the other hand, a print from a 
wood block shows the lines impressed into the 
paper, and the design is a little depressed. 
Japanese fans are very often printed from wood 
blocks, and are either coloured by hand, or the 
colours are added by successive impressions from 
other blocks. 

The sticks of the simpler eighteenth-century 
fans are often of ivory, well finished, but seldom 
elaborately decorated, though some have lacquered 
guards ; the head of the guards is often of a 
different material to the rest of the stick. 
Carving or perforating is not a usual form of 
decoration, but a little inlay is sometimes resorted 
to, to give a touch of ornament to an otherwise 


plain stick. Bone and wood and bamboo were 
used for the cheaper qualities ; sometimes the 
bamboo is lightly washed over with a reddish 
semi-transparent lacquer, on which a design 
in black, with touches of gold, is sometimes 

The Dutch, during the eighteenth century, 
were very fond of using Chinese designs on their 
" brise* " ivory fans in the " Vernis Martin " 
style. There is so much difference in the type 
of painting that they would not be likely to be 
mistaken for Oriental workmanship, the painting 
being in oil colour, which was not in use on Chinese 
fans. There is also a curious difference in the 
way that faces are drawn. An Oriental always 
seems to manage to impart something of the 
style of his own visage to the setting in of the 
eyes, and similarly a European rarely gets the 
contour of a Chinese or Japanese quite right, 
though it is hard to specify the point where the 
difference lies. 

The greater number of the Oriental fans 
imported before the middle of the nineteenth 
century were those with black outlines, either 
drawn with the brush, etched or printed from 
wood blocks as described above, ivory fans orna- 
mented with pierced or carved work, and the 
painted " Mandarin " fans. There were, of 
course, other kinds, such as the fan of feathers 
of the Argus pheasant, which is exhibited in the 
Victoria and Albert Museum, bris fans in filigree 


enamel, and a fair number of lacqi 
these are far less m 

The first kind are often sorposingiy rough 
and slipshod in execution, especially as regards 
the colouring, which is in many cases quite as 
perfunctory and inartistic as the worst of their: 
European contemporaries ; in fact, it almost seems 
as if the merchants had taken out some of the 
European fans as *mplgs of the type of thing 
likely to be popular, and (Hke the Chinese tailor 
who copied the old coat, even to the patches] 
and *"*) the fan makers had purposely 
the slap-dash methods of the English 
giris, who hastily applied the vivid colours 
woe supposed to beautify the etched outlines 
issued by Gamble, Pinchbeck, and Chassereau. 
However this may be, there is little of interest 
in the actual Mafisjiianship of these leaves, 
They have, however, a certain historical value, 
as they show a phase of eighteenth-century taste, 
which swallowed wholesale any kind of rubbish 
which was labelled: " In the Indian Taste," 
These were the goods which the wiry " toy men "* 
and "toy women" were able to foist upon 
foolish fashionables, fike the extravagant young 
couple shown in Hogarth's "Marriage a la] 

The carved ivory fans are, as a rule, quite 
good examples of dexterous craftsmanship, 
is noteworthy that it is extremely rare for a 
of European workmanship to have any 


on unpierced ivory. When the work is apparently 
cut out of the solid, dose examination will gener- 
ally reveal that the work has really been accom- 
plished by fretting the outline, carving it up, 
and backing the result with a thin layer of ivory. 
In most cases there is no disguise about the 
matter, and the backing is of foil or gilt metal, 
so as to show up the design. It was, of course, 
a much quicker method of working, and many 
pretty effects were obtainable. Chinese fans, 
however, though the sticks are often pierced and 
carved, generally are solid as to the guards, and 
the relief is obtained by removing the ground 
with drills and miniature carving tools. The 
designs are, as a rule, Chinese in character, often 
full of tiny figures, occupying themselves among 
a background of temples and trees; sometimes 
scenes of Chinese history or legends of saintly 
personages are depicted. 

Many of these fans were executed in European 
designs of Louis Seize character, but for some 
reason they are never exact copies of their models, 
which is curious, as the Chinese excel in imita- 
tions ; possibly the tools used were not suitable 
for what was required, but the relief is seldom 
so well managed as in the French examples, 
which give the appearance of full modelling with 
extremely slight relief. In Chinese fans, unless 
there is depth enough to give a representation 
in the half-round or even slightly undercut, the 
carving shows details by merely incising the 


outlines ; whereas his French compeer shows 
something of the medallist's art in the skill with 
which all the planes are indicated with the veriest 
modicum of relief and no undercutting. Some 
of these ivory carved fans are of the circular 
kind, the guards being prolonged and held together 
in the hand, so that the inner sticks, which are 
of only about half the length, form a round 
screen. On these fans the work is of an extra- 
ordinarily minute character and delicacy, but 
though miracles of expert craftsmanship, they 
are seldom more than mere tours de force. 

The ivory sticks of the " Mandarin " fans are 
generally of a similar character as to design and 
workmanship to the brise' fans described above. 
They are almost always mounted with a paper 
leaf, decorated on both sides with Court scenes, 
crowded with numerous figures engaged in various 
occupations. The background, which consists, 
as a rule, partially of interiors of palaces, recep- 
tion rooms, and so on, and partly of landscape, 
is painted in vivid hues in gouache. The various 
personages are attired in costumes appropriate 
to their rank and station, in minute portions of 
silk, satin, and other fabrics cut to the shapes 
required and gummed into position, the necessary 
details being added by means of painted lines. 
The faces, and in some cases the hands, are formed 
of tiny ovals of ivory, on which are painted with 
very minute detail the features which are suitable 
to the characters represented. They are all 


different, even where as many as a hundred 
appear on one leaf, and in some cases they appear 
to be, if not portraits, at least painted so as to 
give the correct type of face for the persons 
shown. There is often much interesting detail 
of an ornamental character in the borders and 
fillings. The colouring is vivid, and, as a rule, 
gives a general effect of a preponderance of royal 
blue and emerald green ; but many other brilliant 
shades are introduced, a bright rose and vivid 
orange being much used, especially in the borders. 
These fans have generally elaborate tassels, and 
are often found in the original lacquer boxes. 
They are seldom more than a hundred years old. 





THE most valuable part of early European fans 
was the handle or stick, which was often of 
precious metal, or, if of less costly material, was 
so ornamented as to become the most important 
portion. It was far more permanent than the 
rest of the fan, which, whether the screen part 
consisted of vellum, paper, or feathers, would 
have a more transient existence, being, however, 
easily replaced. There are constant references 
to the silver handles of fans in Elizabethan plays 
and documents. 

For the sticks of folding fans the precious 
metals are not so suitable, and ivory from the 
time when they were first popularized was the 
favourite material ; it was light, strong, and 
flexible, and while sufficiently beautiful in itself 
to be satisfactory if left unornamented, it lent 
itself well to various methods of decoration, such 
as carving, painting, staining, piercing, and various 
other devices. 

The sticks of the earlier fans did not afford 
so large a field for the display of carving and the 











tie leaf and the head, they are the same width. 

at the lover cad rather 

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the head B of a 

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The type of design was the rococo, often carried 
to its extremist limit. Some fan sticks show in 
their small compass a most wonderful amount 
of detail of the kind characteristic of this style. 
Take the fan shown on Plate III. The ivory is 
carved and perforated, and slightly stained in 
parts. The design includes four groups, each of 
a lover and a richly costumed fair lady, three 
reserves painted with minute landscapes, birds 
of rich and extraordinary plumage, scrolls, wreaths, 
arabesques, festoons of flowers painted in their 
natural colours, and many other items. The 
whole is a veritable compendium of the style of 
ornament in vogue, and yet it does not appear 
crowded or excessive because it is so well balanced. 
Certainly these inconsequent curves and arabesques, 
these amorini and grotesque birds and meaningless 
wreaths and festoons are much better suited 
for a small frivolous object, such as a fan, which 
could be shut up or laid aside when it no longer 
pleased, than for large scale decoration works 
such as panels of walls and ceilings. 

However, the fan just described is, compara- 
tively speaking, a simple specimen. At this 
period there were many other materials used 
besides ivory ; mother-o'-pearl was often em- 
ployed with very rich effect ; tortoiseshell inlaid 
with gold, and gold incrustations. But the chief 
glory of the more elaborate sticks lay in the 
intricacy of the design and blending together of 
the different materials and methods of decoration 


to form a complete whole of wonderful richness. 
The master craftsmen who expended their skill 
in carrying out their chef-d' ceuvres for the use of 
the ladies of the Court of Louis XV were adepts 
at devising the most suitable technique to display 
the qualities of the different materials employed. 
Pique was used to decorate many ivory and 
tortoiseshell sticks, gold most usually for the 
pale or blond tortoiseshell, and silver or gold for 
the dark shell. Wonderful was the skill that 
went to the building up of the mother-o'-pearl 
into sufficiently large pieces to make the sticks 
of a fan (because, of course, no one shell gave a 
sufficiently large surface without a join), and the 
incrusted work of shell or gold on to ivory or 
shell. In many cases the ornament is carved 
in the pale bluish shell, partially gilt and silvered, 
and backed with a thin sheet of richly coloured 
pearl ; tortoiseshell was sometimes used for the 
top layer. In either case the two layers will 
hardly exceed a thirtieth part of an inch in 

Some fan sticks are very extreme in their 
deviation from regularity. In these cases the 
right and left portions differ in all their details, 
nothing is the exact counterpart of anything 
else ; but the balance of the whole is so skilfully 
maintained that the lack of symmetry does not 
strike the eye at the first glance, and it is only 
on closer examination that it is discovered that 
no element of the patterns repeats exactly. 



The majority of fan sticks, however, though 
differing in the working out of minor details, 
such as the paintings in the reserves, the postures 
of figures, and the flowers of garlands, show 
the general scheme reversed right and left, 
in other respects the artist's imagination ran riot 
amid the endless variety of curves and exotic 

Not all Louis XV sticks by any means show 
the rococo style carried to its extremist limit. 
Many, especially the early and late fans, are much 
simpler in design, only showing indications of 
the vagaries in which the fashionables of the 
moment indulged. 

The actual carving was necessarily the work 
of very skilled craftsmen, the material, whether 
ivory, tortoiseshell, or mother-o'-pearl, being often 
thinned down until it was no thicker than a 
visiting card, and the relief at its thickest being 
only about the thirty-second of an inch. The 
thickness of the twenty-two inner sticks of the 
fan described above does not amount to three- 
quarters of an inch, yet the features of the faces, 
the details of the garments, and the plumage of 
the birds are quite distinctly modelled. In some 
cases the appearance of relief is increased by 
rubbing a little pigment into the crevices, thus 
apparently deepening the shadows. As a rule, 
however, the craftsman relied on his skill alone 
to obtain the desired effect, and the tiny cupids, 
nymphs, dancing fauns, cavaliers, and ladies owe 


nothing of their attractiveness to any trickery 
of the kind. Sometimes all the carved work is 
coloured in natural tints or gilt, but more often 
the figures are left in the natural tone of the 
material, being thrown into prominence by the 
coloured tracery round them. On the reserves 
or irregularly shaped panels, left unfretted, land- 
scapes, flower pieces, or figure groups are painted, 
these sometimes taking the form of miniature 
conversations galantes, pastorelles, or dancing 
figures a la Watteau. Gorgeously plumaged 
birds or animals enacting in a grotesque manner 
some incident from a fable also are to be 
found as part of the decoration of the small 

The style of ornament of the sticks is sometimes 
a curious contrast to the painting of the leaf. 
The playful fancy and airy lightness of the tracery 
of the ivory work is of a very different inspiration 
to the oftentimes somewhat ponderous classical 
scenes which it supports. There is far more 
harmony of effect when the leaf is a painting 
in the style of Watteau or Fragonard. This 
want of unity of conception certainly detracts 
from the effect of many of these fans, if we are 
judging them as complete works of art. It may, 
perhaps, be accounted for by the fact that while 
the ivory work was carried out in the country 
by one set of workers, the leaves were painted 
by a totally different set of craftsmen, mainly 
in Paris. 


The carving of the French ivory sticks was 
principally done at Dieppe, which had long been 
famous for its ivory carvers and turners. The 
trade was handed on from father to son ; tiny 
toddlers would amuse themselves by shaping 
trifles out of the waste pieces of bone and ivory, 
thus unconsciously learning the intricacies of the 
craft, which was in a large measure hereditary, 
certain families being especially renowned for 
their artistic talents. 

The sticks were not ornamented or coloured 
at Dieppe, only the carving and piercing being 
carried out there. Specialization and sub- 
division, which we look upon as rather a feature 
of modern industry, was decidedly in evidence 
in the fan-making trade, as the bone and ivory 
was prepared and roughly shaped in other towns 
and villages of the Department of Oise before 
reaching Dieppe. Sainte Genevieve, Audeville, 
Laboissiere, Crevecceur, and Meru were places 
where wood, bone, ivory, mother-o' -pearl, and 
other materials were prepared for the Paris 
market. Thus at every point of their manufac- 
ture the sticks were treated by hands which were 
extremely skilled in the particular operations 
on which they were engaged, which accounts 
for the perfection of technique displayed, and 
also, perhaps, for the frequent failure to reach 
an artistically satisfying result. 

The cost of fans at this period is given in an 
extremely rare and curious book published at 


the Hague in 1754, " The Journal du Citoyen," 
quoted by M. Uzanne. x 

" Fans in gold wood " [gilded wood, perhaps], 
"9 to 36 livres the dozen ; those in pali- 
sander wood only 6 to 18 livres. For Fans in 
wood, half ivory, that is, the chief sticks in 
ivory and the gorge in wood, one had to pay as 
much as 72 livres ; for those entirely made of 
ivory, 60 livres ; and even 30 to 40 pistoles a 
dozen ; the mounts were of perfumed leather 
or paper, and the frames were often enriched 
with gold, precious stones, and painted enamels." 

Besides the very elaborate and expensively 
decorated sticks, which were only adapted for 
Court and ceremonial use, there were simpler 
varieties, which were suitable for the less ornate 
leaves used by ordinary folk, and by the nobility 
for " undress " occasions. Naturally cheap 
printed leaves, which cost a few francs or shillings 
only, would have looked very out of place mounted 
on the delicate tracery and gilded open-work, 
which was eminently suitable for a hand-painted 
skin mount. For these cheaper leaves the sticks 
were very often quite plain, the wood, bone, 

1 The Fan, English trans., 1884, p. 79. 

It appears as if by " Fan " the sticks only were intended. 
There is also a curious discrepancy in the price of one of the 
items, 72, perhaps, is a misprint for " 42 " the reference being 
to the fact that in a very large number of cases the ivory of the 
inner sticks stops short at the shoulder, where it is joined with 
extreme dexterity to a slip of wood to which the leaf is fastened. 
These, of course, ought to be cheaper than the all ivory. How- 
ever, I transcribe the quotation word for word, as given. 



ivory, or horn being simply polished. Others, 
especially French fans, were painted somewhat 
roughly with flowers and festoons. But this 
kind of painting is very different from the delicate 
workmanship which ornaments really fine sticks ; 
the colours are dabbed on hastily, the shading 
is extremely perfunctory, and there is little 
attempt of drawing or design ; the sole object 
appears to be to diversify the surface. 

The ivory sticks used for many English fans, 
on the other hand, are generally extremely well 
finished, and are pleasing in effect. It is, in 
fact, rather curious that such excellent sticks 
should have been used for the very rough paper 
leaves. As a rule, the only ornament of these 
sticks is a head of some different material, which 
has a pleasing effect. Thus ivory has sometimes 
a tortoiseshell head, wood has an ivory head, 
tortoiseshell is often combined with pearl shell. 
A pattern of stick sometimes met with has a waved 
outline something like the body of a sea-serpent 
or other marine monster, and a fish's head, the 
rivet being made to serve as the eye. 

There were many skilled craftsmen in England 
throughout the eighteenth century who confined 
themselves to the making of fan sticks. When 
printed leaves were so numerous it was doubtless 
the more paying part of the trade. 

It is rather interesting to note that stick making 
was considered at least as important as the 
painting of the leaf in England at the time of the 


grant of Arms to the Worshipful Company of Fan 
Makers, " or Fan-stick Makers " is added in the 
description of the Arms as recorded in the 
Company's Minute Book. The crest consists of 
a complete fan, and a complete fan is included 
on the shield ; but the tools shown are all those 
used by the stick makers : the shaver for thinning 
the ivory, the saw for piercing the fretted devices 
so usual in the early eighteenth century, especially 
in English fans, and the bundle of finished sticks. 
Neither palette brushes nor leaf is shown, which, 
I think, shows the relative importances of the 
two branches of the industry in the eyes of those 
responsible for the designing of the Arms pre- 
sumably the ruling officers of the Company. 

Some sticks appear to have been imported 
from China, or else European stick makers had 
learnt to copy the sticks of Oriental fan makers 
very accurately. 

There were also sticks which may be considered 
intermediate between the dress fans and the 
quite plain ones ; tortoiseshell very slightly deco- 
rated with pique in silver is a very suitable stick 
for a mourning fan, with a leaf ornamented by 
a pen-drawing in Indian ink. There are also 
some very pretty simple ivory sticks, which have 
a delicate design carried out on them in a kind 
of lacquer in a style reminiscent of Oriental 

To return to France. 

" Le Roi est mortVive le Roi ! " Louis XV 



is no more, and Louis XVI reigns in his stead. 
In truth, the style Louis Seize had been fore- 
shadowed for some years before his accession to 
the throne of France ; the more restrained type 
of decorative art had long had its devotees. The 
discoveries at Herculaneum had set the lovers of 
classic art on a new track, the general lines were 
more severe, even to the verge of attenuation. 
Once again we find everything in pairs, both sides 
exactly alike, and festoons of the same length 
and depth, mathematically accurately reproducing 
each other. Instead of cartouches of irregular 
outline or panels bounded by irresponsible and 
often meaningless curves, we find ovals, circles, 
hexagons, or other pre-determined shapes. Cor- 
rectness was the order of the day, and originality 
and individuality were somewhat at a discount. 
There still remained, however, the dainty charm 
and perfect finish which were the result of genera- 
tions of workers handing down their acquired 
skill to sons and apprentices, but there is less 
spontaneity in the outcome. The design seems 
imposed on the worker by another mind, with 
which he was not in complete sympathy. It is 
less direct, and the results are not so enjoyable, 
however much we may appreciate and admire 

The principal kind of ivory ornamentation was 
a kind of open-work which the artisans of that 
time called ceuvre mosaique. This term is not 
the same as our word " mosaic," but conveys 


a totally different idea. The design consists of 
two parts : the background and the reserves. 
The ground is pared extremely thin and then 
pierced. The perforations, as a rule, take the 
form of closely set slits, or a diaper pattern, 
forming a background to the reserves, which 
may take the form of medallions or such sub- 
jects as trophies, festoons, amorini, figures, busts, 
or groups ; these were left in silhouette rather 
raised against the thinner pierced groundwork, 
and were afterwards carved more or less finely, 
so that when finished they are in very low relief, 
but still a trifle higher than the ground. 

In a number of cases the reserves are filled 
with figure subjects, copies from Wedgwood 
jasper ware, either painted on a flat ground in 
imitation of the " cameos," or carved in relief 
and the ground painted blue. Wedgwood first 
produced his blue jasper ware, which he used 
for imitating antique gems, about 1775. The 
small cameos were enormously admired, and 
were exported in large quantities to the Continent, 
where they were used as personal ornaments, 
and also for setting in small boxes, etuis, and such 
things. The larger sizes were inlet into furniture. 

These little medallions after Wedgwood con- 
tinued to be used as part of the ornamentation 
of fine fans for many years. Small coloured 
miniatures were also sometimes introduced, but 
not so generally as in former times. Sometimes, 
too, the carved medallions were gilt, which has 



a very rich effect against the delicate tone of 
the fine ivory. 

The Revolution had a very disastrous effect 
on the fan-stick makers. For the prosperity of a 
trade like theirs which was essentially a luxury 
trade it was necessary not only that there should 
be first-rate skilled workmen and purchasers with 
plenty of money to spend on their productions, 
but also that the clientele should possess a refined 
and delicate taste, and have the time and leisure 
to devote to attaining the degree of connoisseur- 
ship necessary in order to appreciate good work. 
With the Court gone, the surviving aristocrats 
penniless or emigres, and the financial resources 
of the country at a low ebb, there was no demand 
for their skill. Many turned their attention to 
other trades, no apprentices were taken to carry 
on the tradition, and the making of fine sticks 
practically ceased. 

The coarsely printed and painted leaves which 
were de rigueur during the days of the Republic 
demanded equally roughly-made sticks, and they 
are mostly mounted on common wood or bone. 

When the Imperial Court was formed many 
of the ceremonies of bygone days took a new 
lease of life, dress fans were again required, and 
there was a certain demand for more soigne 
sticks. But the taste of the nouveaux riches 
naturally was rather in the direction of showy 
devices than fine workmanship, and most of the 
sticks of this period are of a type which, though 


often pleasing and attractive at first sight, does 
not improve on acquaintance. 

A very favourite form of decoration consists 
of small plaques of highly burnished steel let 
into the bone or ivory. They are very thin, 
being just like spangles without the central hole. 
They are of various shapes and sizes, generally 
rounds or stars, a rather long printed oval is also 
used. The designs are, as a rule, quite simple, 
and do not usually extend over more than one 
stick. The leaf of the Empire fan being generally 
deep, it follows that the stick from the head to 
the shoulder is short, which leaves but little 
space for important ornament. The top of the 
shoulder is rounded, which is almost invariably 
the sign of a late stick, though the sticks of Vernis 
Martin fans and those with flat sticks painted 
with ornament in a similar style had a slightly 
curved shoulder ; but this has a different effect 
from the " high shouldered " nineteenth-century 
type. The material, generally ivory, bone, or 
horn, is pierced, but seldom carved, and the 
guards are often ornamented by piercing, backed 
by foil, either matt gold or silver; but steel 
guards with small facets are often employed 
where the steel inlets are used on the inner 

There is one good point about these Empire 
fans, the stick is generally in perfect keeping 
with the leaf. Probably the simpler style of 
stick in vogue led to the whole fan being carried 



out in one workshop, or at least under the 
direct supervision of the fan maker. 

There were also made at this period some 
extremely expensive fans for Court use. In these, 
again, the same note is sounded. The money is 
spent on gold and gems ; delicate finish and fine 
workmanship were at a discount, and though 
these have a certain historic interest, their artistic 

value may be said to be nil. 

. ' - 






NOWADAYS so much is done by machinery that 
handwork is at a discount. A piece of material 
is put into one end of a machine, and the finished 
product comes out complete in every detail. 
Quite satisfactory, but hopelessly dull ! 

The very best work, however, still, as it always 
has been, is the product of the skilled craftsman, 
interested in making the result of his efforts 
satisfactory, not only to his employer, but also 
to himself, and often the worker is the more 
difficult to please. Generally, such a craftsman 
turns out things which are delightful to make 
and delightful to possess. We read of eighteenth- 
century workmen creeping back at night, lantern 
in hand, to feast their eyes on the perfect result 
of the day's toil. " When I get to heaven what 
shall I do ? " one of them is reported to have 
said. " Surely the Saints will not use fans ! 
And I cannot be happy unless I am at work." 

Not all of the eighteenth-century fans, however, 
were the result of individual effort. Vast numbers 
were made of the cheaper varieties, and in order 



to produce a sufficient stock to supply the home 
market, and also the large quantity for export, 
division of labour was resorted to, many work- 
people carrying on their employment in workshops, 
where, though there was hardly anything in the 
way of machinery, the manufacture was much 
accelerated because the different processes could 
be carried out consecutively by parties of workers 
handing on the fan from one to another as each 
process was completed.' 

Roughly, the makers of a fan may be divided 
into three divisions (though there were many 
other industries connected with the trade) : 

The Painters, 
The Mounters, 
The Stick Makers. 

The mounters had two sides to their work : the 
preparation of the leaf for the decorators, and 
the fixing of it to sticks when complete. 

The reproductions of eighteenth-century prints 
(Plates XXV, XXVI, XXVII), show how 
this team work was carried out with regard 
to paper leaves (though sometimes papier 
was used for a leaf of any material). The 
descriptions of the processes involved may 
easily be followed with the aid of descriptions 
translated from those that accompany the 
originals, which are in the Library of the Victoria 
and Albert Museum. It will, no doubt, be a 


surprise to many people to find that the double 
papers were glued together before the decorating 
and mounting was begun, and the means employed 
were very ingenious. Of course, if water-colour 
decorations had first been done and then the 
stretching, with the necessarily included thorough 
damping of the leaf, the whole painting would 
have been ruined by the wet. 

The workers of those days believed in carrying 
out every detail for themselves, and it is notice- 
able that even the glue was prepared on the 
premises by boiling down shreds of hide and 
skin until a gelatinous substance was obtained, 
something like size, of sufficient consistency to 
stick firmly, yet not so hard but that it could be 
separated by the proper tool used by skilful 
hands. This is a tool something like a very 
narrow paper-knife, with finely bevelled edges so 
smoothed off that no roughness remained to 
catch and tear the leaf. 

The hoops or " rondes " on which the leaves 
are stretched are in reality, it will be noted, only 
half-circles, and on these the papers when stuck 
would be held as firm as the parchment of a 
drum, affording not only an excellent surface for 
the painter's brush, ready to show every touch, 
no matter how fine, but also when the time came 
for folding they were of a stifnsh consistency, 
and took and held the marking of the folds most 
perfectly ; bending, but not breaking. 

The second plate is not reproduced, as it 


possesses few features which are of special interest. 
It represents the fan painters at work. A work- 
woman is seated at a table with the paper 
on a desk, and an appliance for holding the copy 
in a convenient position before her eyes. There 
is a second desk, and arrangements for another 
worker. The furniture of the room and the 
dress of the women show that their position was 
a superior one to those who were carrying out 
the more mechanical details of stretching the 
leaves. The room has the appearance of a well- 
appointed office. 

The third and fourth plates deal with the 
mounting of the leaf after it has been decorated, 
and, of course, the decoration may equally well 
be a painted design, printed from an etched or 
engraved plate, a sketch washed in in sepia or 
bistre, or a drawing executed in pen and ink ; 
the after-treatment would in each case be the 
same. The whole process can be followed in the 
illustrations and better understood from them 
than from a written description, and it will, I 
think, be very clear how deft-fingered these 
eighteenth-century workpeople must have been 
to carry out all these manipulations, leaving the 
fan firmly fixed, yet as lightly treated and as 
destitute of traces of the glue as if carried out 
by a fairy's fingers. Fan makers are a wonder- 
fully dexterous race, and to-day, though, of course, 
they have the advantage of improved workshop 
appliances, there are workers who carry out 


delicate repairs in a way little short of marvellous. 
For instance, if a piece has been torn, burnt, or 
hopelessly ink-stained, they can cut that piece 
of the leaf out and let in another so exactly the 
same in tone and surface that without a magnify- 
ing glass the repair is invisible. 

For getting the fold correctly at the present 
day there is a mechanical appliance which carries 
out the work neatly and quickly with perfect 
evenness, so the grooved board shown in the old 
engravings is only in occasional use for dealing 
with antiques. 

The leaves, if of chicken skin or vellum, had 
to be specially prepared and fined down so as 
to be tough yet supple, and selected so as to 
show no flaw or extra thickness in the part which 
would finally take shape as a fan leaf. They 
were stretched on boards ready for the painters, 
because it is essential that the decoration be 
applied before the fan leaf is mounted. The 
painter was in most cases a superior workman, 
who possessed considerable skill in copying, if 
not in originating those graceful compositions 
of figures and scenery which adorn the leaves. 
The finest work of all was probably done by 
individual artists working at their own studios 
or homes, but most painters attended the work- 
shops there to carry out the directions of the 
proprietor. The paintings were carried out in 
water colour or gouache, but the latter certainly 


Fan making. See p. 246 

1. Preparing the Leaf. 

2. Appliances and Tools. 



The mounting of the skin fan was, to a certain 
extent, carried out as described above, but in a 
good many cases these leaves were mounted 
d I'Anglaise that is to say, there was no 
lining, the sticks being simply attached to the 
back of the leaf by gum or elastic glue. The 
decoration of the back, which, of course, was 
generally fairly simple, was carried over the 
sticks, this part being painted after the mounting 
was done. 

Of course, for the stick there was the same 
division of labour. The ivory, tortoiseshell, or 
bone was roughed out into shape by one set of 
workers, handed on to another, who, with the 
aid of a shaving iron, thinned the material down 
to the necessary degree of attenuation. This had 
to be done proportionately, for the ivory is 
thickest at the rivet end, thinning off towards the 
shoulder in order to allow for the thickness of 
the leaf. A little extra thickness was left if 
the stick had to be carved to show a design in 
relief. It next had the design marked out and 
passed into the piercer's hands, who, with a fine 
drill, made starting holes into which he inserted 
the blade of his piercing saw ; with this, which 
had a fine blade set in a frame not unlike a 
fretsaw, but with a much narrower bow, the 
superfluous ground was removed. Sometimes this 
completed the decoration, especially in the case 
of early and late fans. In many of the late 
eighteenth-century fans all the ornament they 


had consisted of the piercing of the sticks. But 
in the case of elaborately worked sticks the 
carver had his work to do next, and he was one of 
the most skilled of all the workers, because he 
had to rely on his own hand and eye alone in 
carrying the work a stage further. It depended 
on whether the carving was to remain in the 
natural tint as to what degree of delicacy should 
be imparted to the finish ; when it was to be gilt 
or painted a less refined touch was used, because 
high finish would have been wasted when veiled 
by the gold leaf or applications of colour. 

In the best fans the gilding was of very high 
quality, and put on in so many layers that it is 
spoken of as " encrusted/ 1 It has quite the ap- 
pearance of solid metal repoussee and applied, 
but such a course could only be pursued on the 
comparatively solid fabric of the guards, where 
also carving, inlays, and other decoration could 
be done on a less ethereal scale. Gold and silver 
leaf were both used ; gold remains untarnished, 
but the silver has generally faded to a dull coppery 
or blackish shade. The gilding was either matt 
or dull, or else brilliantly burnished by means 
of pressure applied with a hot burnisher. 

If there were any paintings in the reserves, 
they were generally carried out before the gilding. 

In the case of mother-o'-pearl fans, the deli- 
cately carved openwork was often backed by an 
extremely thin skin of richly coloured pearl shell, 
sometimes natural in colour, sometimes dyed to 


enhance the rainbow tints. Against this back- 
ground the gilded relief stands out with sharp-cut 
edges, and has a far better effect than if the 
carving were actually in one with the background, 
because the delicate smoothness of the surface 
is necessary for the proper play of iridescent 
colours, which add so much to the beauty of shell- 
work. Pearl is also very brittle, and the backing 
adds to the strength. 

Pearl sticks were the most expensive, as the 
material was difficult to work, and the joining 
of the pieces to obtain the necessary area was 
an added labour. 

It appears to have been customary for the 
fan maker to colour and decorate the sticks at 
his workshop, but the initial stages were carried 
on elsewhere. 

Many fine fans are found in beautifully decorated 
cases, but these, though provided by the fan 
maker, were not made by him, but by a class of 
workman who did nothing else but make leather 
covered cases for etuis, silver, and other valua- 
bles. They were known as " gagniers," and 
belonged to a long established trade. Many of 
these cases are beautifully ornamented with 
impressed and gilt designs, and being lined with 
delicate toned satin or velvet, and trimmed with 
fine gimp, they are worthy receptacles for their 
exquisite contents. 

The eighteenth-century fan maker not only 
believed in advertising in different newspapers 


Fan making. See p* 248* 
i Folding the Leaf, 
a Hie Leaf in Various Stages. 




and magazines the Craftsman had many such 
announcements he also had his trade card. 
Sometimes, as well as carrying on business as a 
fan maker, he dealt in other commodities, such 
as tea, silks, Indian goods, and the various trinkets 
and trifles which went to make up the stock of 
the " toy man " of those days. Many of the 
trade cards are quite interesting, showing en- 
gravings of fans of the time. Francis Chassereau, 
an important man in the early days of George I, 
and perhaps earlier (he was a member 
of the Court of Assistants of the Worshipful 
Company of Fan Makers), had a very charming 
and distinctive card with a square frame of 
laurel leaf, and a small extended fan typical of 
the kind of fan used in the early part of the 
eighteenth century. 

No doubt these cards were very useful in those 
times when even important and well-to-do trades- 
people humbly attended at the residence of the 
nobility to ask their commands concerning goods 
which they had for sale. One can imagine with 
what pleasure on a dull morning a lady of fashion 
would receive one of these cards and the announce- 
ment that " Mr. Chassereau waits below ; he 
has brought some of his latest fans, if your 
ladyship would be pleased to look at them/' 
Then the trim tradesman, neatly wigged and 
brushed, would show his finest wares, not perhaps 
displeased if her ladyship was content to believe 
that they were all straight from France, though 


many were made in his own English workshop. 
It would be a poor morning's work if he went 
away without an order for a fan or two, perhaps 
a fine hand-painted leaf with choicely pierced 
sticks, perhaps merely a print of his latest etched 
plate, hand coloured, and mounted on ivory 
sticks, which were to have some painted decora- 
tion on them, and a little gilding to suit her 
ladyship's taste for something rather more elabo- 
rate than the plain bone or wood which most 
people thought good enough to use when out 
walking in ordinary morning dress. 

Not that Chassereau would really approve of 
these printed leaves in his heart of hearts, they 
were poor things, and to some extent spoilt the 
trade in better-class work ; still, ladies bought a 
great many of them, and they were not unprofit- 
able. If he did not supply them, others would, 
he no doubt thought to himself, as he briskly 
passed on his way back to his shop in the Strand. 


[These plates are reproductions of three out of four illus- 
trations which trace the different stages through which a fan 
leaf passes from the time it entered the atelier as a sheet of 
paper to the final appearance of the finished fan.] 

(Translation from the Eighteenth-Century 

PLATE I. The vignette represents the interior 
of a workshop where the fan papers are glued 


and prepared. This workshop is a large room 
with a fireplace, in order to obtain the heat 
necessary for preparing the glue from shreds of 
hide. The ceiling has to be provided with 
numerous wooden beams at a height of about 
seven or eight feet. The lower part of these 
beams is fitted with hooked nails, in order that 
the hoops on which the glued papers are stretched 
may be suspended. 

Figure i represents the girl who does the gluing 
by filling a sponge with glue from the earthenware 
pot before her. The papers are then placed two 
and two, the glued sides together. The plate 
shows a pile of glued papers, the earthenware 
pot for the glue, dry paper not yet treated, which 
is made into piles of a dozen or a gross, and a 
pile of glued paper. 

Figure 2 shows the " raiser/' who separates the 
pairs of glue sheets from each other and stretches 
them on hoops to dry. She has at hand the pile 
of double sheets provided by the gluer, a double 
leaf stretched on a hoop, a receptacle containing 
water, a sponge to damp those parts of the 
paper which are to be attached to the hoop. 

Figure 3. The workwoman, called the 
" stretcher," takes the hoops, which are prepared 
by the raiser, and places them on the hooks. 

Figure 4. The " cutter," when the papers are 
dry, takes the hoops one by one and, removing 
the papers, piles them on the table ; the empty 
hoops are placed on the floor. 


. . _ 




z . 

_ -_: 

- 1 "_1_ "_lr 



Figure 5. The " rounder off," who cuts off 
the angles of the paper with scissors. 

Figure 6. A stone and mallet similar to those 
used by bookbinders are also shown, these are 
used to brighten gilt fan papers. 

Figure 7. A drawing of the tool known as a 
" sonde," or probe. It is a kind of copper ruler 
rounded at both ends, and with very rounded 
edges. It is thirteen or fourteen inches long. 
In the illustration the centre part is not shown, 
as it would be too long to show in its entirety. 
The other objects can be identified from the 
account given above. 

PLATE II (not reproduced) shows a room in 
which two women fan painters might be accommo- 
dated. (It is well furnished in the style of the 
first half of the eighteenth century, with presses, 
tables, and chairs.) 

Figure i shows a painter at work painting 
a leaf. 

Figure 2. Various utensils. 

PLATE III. Mounting fans. 

To mount a fan is to connect the leaf and the 

The vignette represents a room where two 
workpeople are carrying out the principal opera- 
tions of their trade. There are several large 
presses, which serve as stores. 

Figure i. The workwoman who makes the 
rays of a leaf with a tool something like a bur- 
nisher, called a " jetton." 


Figure 2. A woman working with a " sonde," 
or probe. 

Lower half of Plate III. 

Figure i. The prepared and painted leaf as 
delivered to the workwoman, called the " moulder." 

Figure 2. The mould or shape. This is a 
piece of walnut wood, into which are cut twenty 
grooves radiating from the same spot ; the 
grooves are about the eighth of an inch in breadth 
and depth. The bottom of the grooves is an 
acute angle. All the rays should be exactly 
equal distances from each other, and in the case 
of the small shapes they occupy a little less than 
a semicircle. 

Figure 3. Large mould which gives a semi- 
circle. In both moulds the centre is indicated 
by a tiny copper plate, pierced with a hole, so 
that the exact centre shall be accurately pre- 

Figure 4. Shows the method of finding the 
centre of a leaf, which is not always in exactly 
the same place as that used by the painter, and 
marked by him with the cardboard compasses 
shown on Plate II, because it is the duty of the 
mounters who carry out their work perfectly to 
arrange matters so that the heads of figures or 
other principal objects are not placed on a fold. 
To avoid this they move the leaf to and fro on 
the mount, so that the right side (which faces 
the wood) is arranged in such a way that the 
heads and other principal objects are neither in 


Fan making. See p. 253, 
The Final Stages. 




the grooves nor in the exact middle of the inter- 
mediate space. In this position it is steadied 
by a piece of marble or other weighty substance. 

Figure 5. Illustrates the raying of the leaf 
as shown in part marked i of the vignette. 

The leaf having been arranged as above described, 
the workwoman holds the leaf in her left hand, 
and takes a pressing tool known as a " jetton " 
in her right hand, drawing it along the grooves 
into which she presses the paper, which by this 
means is worked into rays. 

Figure 6. The " jetton," made of silver or 
copper of the size of a 24-sous piece. 

Figure 7. A similar tool with a handle. 


Figure 8. Leaf completely marked with rays, 
from which the gorge has been cut off almost 
entirely with scissors. 

Figure 9. The " pinching " process, which 
consists of folding the paper where marked by 
the radiating grooves, the right side of the 
painting being on the outside. 

Figure 10. The " folding " process, which con- 
sists of dividing in two the spaces which were 
left between the folds already made. 

Figure n. The " probing " process (Sonder), 
which consists in introducing the tool shown, 
Fig. 7, Plate I, between the papers on the right 
side of each fold, so that the sticks may be inserted. 

Figure 12. Folded fan ready for cutting off 
any excess of paper on the last fold. 


Figure 13. The final cutting of the gorge. 

Figure 14. " Threading," or inserting the sticks 
in the openings prepared by the probe. 

Figure 15. Cutting the upper side of the fan, 
which removes any of the leaf which projects 
beyond the guards. 

Figure 16. Putting a little band of paper along 
the top on the other side of the leaf. 

Figure 17. Finished fan. 


It appears that when fans were introduced into 
England they were for the most part imported, 
at first from the East, later from Italy and France ; 
and therefore English makers of fans, if such 
beings existed, were few and unimportant. 

Towards the end of the seventeenth century, 
however, there were a certain number of English 
fan makers, who were later augmented by the 
influx of skilled craftsmen, tradesmen, and artisans 
driven to this country from France by religious 
persecution. They must soon have become 
a fairly numerous and important body, for by 
the beginning of the eighteenth century it was 
worth their while to petition for a charter, which 
was granted to them by Queen Anne. It bears 
the date April 19, 1709, and was the last to 
be granted to any City Company. 

The charter, as preserved at the offices of the 


Worshipful Company of Fan Makers, is engrossed 
on parchment, and is a lengthy document setting 
out the purposes of the Company and the duties 
of its officers and members. Bound up with it 
is a full-length portrait of Queen Anne in gouache, 
presented in 1714 by one of the members named 
Earle. It is of considerable interest, as pre- 
sumably the painter was an English fan painter, 
to judge by the name, and it was painted at a 
period from which few actual English painted 
fans have survived. It shows Her Majesty 
standing by a table, on which is laid the charter. 
The colouring is full and rich, the pigment is 
heavily applied, and the vehicle used gives the 
painting a thick, almost pasty, appearance ; the 
whole effect is not unpleasing, though as a work 
of art it cannot be rated very highly. 

The charter was rebound in red morocco 
towards the end of the nineteenth century. 

Most unfortunately, the early records of the 
Society have disappeared, the Stamp Book of 
Admittances only dating back to 1747, and 
beginning with the number 839. Thus there is 
no complete list of members available. There- 
after appear some names familiar to collectors 
of printed fan leaves, but a great many of the 
later admittances are of persons who did not 
follow the trade of fan maker. 

Among the entries are found : 

Richard Simmonds, 1750. At his house in London 
Bridge. Ribbon weaver. 


Early nineteenth-century English Fan. Silk 
leaf, with applied medallions printed in colour 
on satin. The central one is a domestic scene 
after Fragonard ; at the sides, Cupid making and 
sharpening arrows. Pierced ivory sticks, with 
steel inlets, and painted reserves after Wedgwood. 
Steel guards. 

Victoria and Albert Museum. 




848. Abraham Hadwin, living with Mr. Saml. 
Cook, in Russell Street, Covent Garden, 
admitted July 2, 1750. 

882. Francis Ghassereau, Junr. Admitted the 

3rd day of November, 1755. Fan maker. 

883. Robert Clarke, admitted the I2th September, 

X 755> at Mr. Clarke's in Bell Sauvage 
Yard, Ludgate Hill. 

(This is a name often found on fan boxes, 

generally of paste-board covered with pink or 

green paper, enclosing printed fans, of which 

Clarke was the publisher.) 

" 936. Sarah Ashton, admitted ist February, 

(She conducted business for herself for a 
time, and was afterwards in partnership with 

There were several stick makers who belonged 
to the Company, among them : 

865. Mr. Joseph Simmonds. Admitted June 3, 

1751. At Mr. Cocks', in Saint Martins 
le Grand. Stick maker. 

866. Mr. William Goe, admitted the I7th day of 

June, 1751. Stick maker. 
888. Mr. Thomas Goe, admitted the first day of 

July, 1751. In Bethnal Green. Stick 

880. William Adams. Admitted the 7th day of 

October, 1754. Stick maker at Mr. 

Delamotto's in the Strand. 


(This may possibly have been a descendant 
of Peter Motteux, who carried on the business 
of importer of East Indian goods at the sign 
of the Two Fans in Leadenhall Street. He 
translated Don Quixote, and died in 1722.) 
1061. James Broome, of No. 24, Gloucester 
Row, Hoxton, admitted the 3oth day 
of April, 1804. 

From some notes referring to members of the 
Court we learn some earlier dates of admissions : 

266. John West, admitted December 13, 1710 ; 
a member of the Court of Assistants 
in 1749. 

(This is an interesting entry, because having 
been admitted so soon after the granting of 
the Charter, it shows that the Company must 
have been fairly numerous at its foundation. 
It is rather surprising that there should have 
been two hundred and sixty-six persons em- 
ployed in the fan-making trade in 1710 in 

519. Francis Qhassereau, Senr., admitted Decem- 
ber 4, 1721, a member of the Court of 
Assistants in 1749. 

(He designed several etched fan leaves.) 
720. Abraham Cock, admitted January 5, 1740. 

(He belonged to a family which had several 
members in the fan-making business down to 
the beginning of the nineteenth century.) 


In its early days the Company was probably 
very zealous in promoting the interests of its 
members, but the minutes of these activities have 
not survived, and during the latter part of the 
eighteenth century the Court appears to have 
met only to part, as the Minute Book merely 
records the names of those present at the meeting, 
and gives no account of any business transacted, 
so there is little of interest to be gleaned from 
the accounts of these gatherings. 

About the only exception is on July i, 1779, 
when Mr. Robert Clarke represented to a meeting 
of the Court of Assistants that the " importation 
of French and foreign fanns daily increased/* 
and as a remedy it was arranged that " advertise- 
ments should be inserted in the Public Papers 
and Hand Bills delivered setting forth the per- 
nicious tendency of such proceedings," and a 
subscription was agreed on to defray the expenses. 

This question of the importation of foreign 
fans was naturally a most important one to 
English makers, and the Company had long been 
alive to the danger. At the beginning of the 
Minute Book begun in 1775 some one has written 
some notes bearing on the subject. They are 
headed : 

" Observations of the Importation of French 
or Foreign Fans. 

" Calpins for Fans (Mounts). By the nth 
George the First Chapter the Seventh Calpins 


Vernis Martin. Mid-eighteenth century. Painted 
with a " Feast/' The lower part decorated in 
the Japanese taste. 

M. Duvelleroy. 




for Fans are rated in the Custom House Books 
at Seven Shillings and sixpence a Dozen the 
Duty paid on Importation is one shilling five 
pence seven eights per dozen. And besides if 
made of leather and the leather be the most 
valuable part. For every twenty shillings of 
the real value upon cash the Duty upon importa- 
tion is six shillings. 

" By the I2th of Charles the 2nd Chapter the 
fourth Fans for women and children (French 
making) are rated in the Custom House Book 
at 2 per dozen and the Duty paid on importation 
1-5-0 per dozen. 

" BUT if the Fans are painted they are pro- 
hibited to be imported and are seizable as 
painted wares." 

The prohibition of embroideries under various 
statutes is also noted, and the penalties stated, 
and the statutes relating to the importation of 
gold and silver fringes and lace are quoted ; 
these were liable "to be forfeited and Burnt, 
and 100 paid by the importer of every parcel 
so imported." 

" By the Act of the 6th of Ann Chapter igth. 

" Silks wrought or made with gold or silver 
or materials clandestinely imported are forfeited 
with 200 by every importer and 100 by the 
Receiver Seller or Concealer. 

r ' Upon which Act it appears that either Mounts 
or Fans that are painted are seizable and that 


Fans or Mounts Embellished with Gold or Silver 
are Prohibited under very severe penalties Par- 
ticularly under the Acts of the 4th of Edward 3rd 
and the I5th and 22nd of George II." 

" Observations on the Commercial Treaty with 
France which took place the loth day of May, 

" Schedule D in the Book of Rates. It is 
expressed Paper Hangings for Rooms for every 
100 Imported there shall be paid 75 per cent. 

" Paper not otherways particularly enumerated 
or described for every 100 Value 55 per cent." 

" Toys For every 100 value 33 per centum. 
" Query as plain fans may be imported do 
they not come under the Denomination of Toys ? " 

" Schedule D all other goods, Wares and Mer- 
chandise whatever not being particularly enum- 
erated or described or otherwise charged with 
Duty not prohibited to be imported or used in 
Great Britain and not being exempted from 
Duty, for every 100 value thereof 27-10-0 
per cent." 

" By which it appeareth Paper Fans Mounts 
plain cannot be imported without paying a 
Duty of 55 per cent. And that Plain Fans 
cannot be imported without paying a Duty of 
27-10 per cent. 

" Or if they are Imported as Toys 33 per cent." 


The arms of the Company (as given in the 
Minute Book of the Worshipful Company of 
Fan makers, 1775) are rather different from 
those shown in a bookplate of about 1750, but 
the general idea is the same. 

" Company of Fan Makers or Fan Stick Makers. 

" Arms. Or a fan displayed with a mount 
of various devices and colours the sticks gu : 
on a chief per pale gu and az on the dexter side 
a shaving iron over a bundle of sticks tied together, 
or ; on the sinister side a framed saw, in pale 
of the last. 

" Crest. A hand couped ppr holding a fan 
displayed or. 

" Motto. Arts and Trade United." 

Of late years the Company has consisted, to 
a certain extent, of members connected with 
the industry, and includes some members who 
are interested in fans from the artistic view- 
point, but the majority consists of those who 
are " fan makers " in name only. 

Its activities, however, have included several 
exhibitions and competitions, which have been 
held with a view to the resuscitation and encour- 
agement of the Arts and Trades of fan making 
in England. 

The master fan makers of Paris had a corpora- 
tion of their own similar to our City Guilds or 
Companies. It was founded in the reign of 


Louis XIV in 1673, and its Patron was St. Louis. 
It was governed by four jurors, and in order to 
be admitted " master " it was necessary to have 
served an apprenticeship of four years and to 
have produced a chef-d'oeuvre to the satisfaction 
of the governing body ; a sum of 550 livres had, 
moreover, to be paid. There were exceptions to 
this rule, whereby widows, sons, and sons-in-law 
of master fan makers, as well as those marrying 
the widow of a " master," obtained the privilege 
on easier terms. 

By the middle of the century there were in 
Paris about a hundred and fifty master fan 
makers. It was the golden age of the fan, and 
many of them were rich and important trades- 

The Fan Makers* Corporation was united to 
the toy dealers, and the musical instrument 
makers by an edict of the nth of August, 1776, 
and the same edict included the painting, 
varnishing, and other subsidiary callings, which 
were necessary to these trades. 








IT has often been remarked that it is very singular 
that few painted fan leaves are signed by the 
artist. In all probability, however, the greater 
number of them were the work of painters who, 
while possessing considerable skill in copying and 
adapting designs suitable for the decoration of 
fans, had very little either individuality or origin- 
ality, and occupied the position of superior 
artisans. Many doubtless were painted by women, 
and in most cases the work appears to have been 
carried out in " ateliers " or workshops. There- 
fore in the following list few painters' names 
occur. The greater number are those of designers, 
engravers, or publishers of printed fans. I hope 
that it will be found useful to many collectors 
of such fans who may possess leaves from which 
the imprint has been cut wholly or in part in 
the course of mounting. For though subsequent 
to the year 1734 all engravings were obliged to 
bear the name of the publisher and the date of 
publication, it frequently happened that these 




particulars were removed during subsequent 
manipulations. Owners of such examples may, 
by reference to this list, be able to identify 
the subjects, and be able to refer them to a 
publisher or designer, thus adding much to their 

Agar. Engraver. The Oracle of Apollo ; Jupiter ; 
Tarquin and the Sibyl ; The Widow. (Printed 

Andre, Eug. Signature on Lithographed Fan. 
Three Medallions of Village Life. 

Angrand. Publisher. Fan with nine medallions, 
containing female figures representing the 
Five Senses and the Four Seasons. (Printed). 

Arevalo, Cano de. Spanish fan painter to 
the Queen of Spain at the end of the seven- 
teenth century. 

Ashton, Sarah. Publisher. Duchess of York, 
1792 ; Botanical Fan, 1792 ; The Casino Fan, 
J 793 > Conundrums, 1794 ; The Way of 
the World, 1796 ; School for Scandal, 1796 ; 
Shakespeare's Seven Ages, 1796 ; The 
World grown Old and Crazy. (Printed fans.) 

Ashton, Sarah and Co. Publishers. Conun- 
drums, 1797. (Printed fan.) 

Ashton & Co. Publishers. Female Seven Ages, 
J 797 The Quiz Club, 1797 ; The Lady's 
Adviser, 1797 ; Grotesque Subjects, 1797. 
(Printed fans.) 


Ashton, S. & Co. Publishers of A Dance Fan, 
1798. (Printed fans.) 

Ashton and Hadwen. Publishers of Conundrums, 
1800 ; The Union, 1801 ; Peace Restored, 
1801 ; Divertissement pour tout Age, 1800. 
(Printed fans.) Sarah Ashton was admitted 
a member of the Worshipful Company of 
Fan Makers February i, 1770. 


Badini, Charles Francis. Designer of Fan- 
ology, 1797. (Printed fan.) 

Balster, T. Publisher of Fan in Honour of 
George III, 1789 ; Queen's Royal Fan, 1821 ; 
The Map of England. (Printed fans.) He 
was admitted as member of the Worshipful 
Company of Fan Makers in December, 1777. 

Barlow. Engraver of Royal Concert^ (after 
Cruiksharik), 1781. (Printed fan.) 

Bartolozzi, F. Engraver of Theft of Cupid's 
Bow ; Cupid and Psyche, 1779 ; Cupid and 
Arabesque 1780. (Printed fans.) 

Baylie, Ann. Fan maker. Warehouse woman. 
" At the Golden Fan and Sun at Chidley 
Court, near Carlton House, Pall Mall." 

Bella, Stefano Delia. Engraving of a Hand- 
screen, in the centre three Couples dancing 
a Country Dance. (Schreiber Collection.) 

Belleteste, Jean Antoine. Maker of ivory 
fan mounts. 1787-1832. Catalogue descrip- 
tif critique et Anecdotique des Ob jets (a 


Trianon) sous les Auspices de SM I'lmperatise 

(Eugenie), 1867. No. 70, " Un 6ventail sculte 

a jour." (M. S.) 
Belli, Fra. " Invenit et Facit." The signature 

of a fan decorated on one side with ten 

medallions representing Venus receiving from 

the Tritons the tributes of the sea ; on the 

other side five medallions of subjects in the 

Pompeian style. (M. S.) 
Benizy. Designer and Engraver of Charade 

Nouveau. (Printed fan.) S. C. 
Birman, A. P. Publisher and Designer of 

Marriage of Duke of York, 1791, George III, 

1791. (Printed fans.) 
Boitard, Louis Pierre. Fan in the Schreiber 

Collection. Pen drawings of Cupids engaged 

in Vintage. Signed " Boitard 196." 
Boucher. Many fan leaves are attributed to this 

master, generally on very insufficient grounds. 
Bunbury, H. W. Drawing of The Minuet 

at Bath, reproduced on a French fan in 

the Schreiber Collection. 
Burney. Designer of The Oracle of Apollo, 

Jupiter. Tarquin and the Sibyl. The Widow. 

(Printed fans.) 


Cahaigne. 1766. A fan finely painted in 

gouache is thus signed. (M. S.) 
Canu, Jean Dominque Eteinne. Engraver, 

born at Paris 1768. " The Horse Race," 


"The Lasso/' "Negro Labourers," "El 
Mendigo." (Printed fans.) 

Car don. Engraver of George III, with Nelson 
and Britannia. (Printed fans.) 

Carracei, Augostino. Etched Designs for 

Carre, Mdle. Alida. Dutch fan painter 
eighteenth century. (Siret. Dictionnaire des 
Paintres de toutes les ficoles). M. S. 

Chassereau, Francis. Designer of Pleasure- 
boat, 1739 ; Garden Scene, 1741 ; Capture of 
Porto Bello, 1740 ; Shepherd and Shep- 
herdess, 1741. (Printed fans.) 

Chassereau, Francis, Senr., was an early and 
important member of the Worshipful Com- 
pany of Fan Makers. He was admitted 
December 4, 1721, and was a member of 
the Court of Assize in 1729. Francis Chasse- 
reau, Junr., was admitted November 3, 1758. 

Chaudet. Designer of Fan with Medallions 
in Honour of Napoleon Bonaparte. (Printed 

Chodowiecki, Daniel. Designer and Engraver 
of Frederick William II ; Apotheosis of 
Frederick II. (Printed fans.) 

Cipriani, G. B. Designer of Orpheus and Eurydice, 
Toilet of Venus. (Printed fans.) 

Clark, S. Designer of View of Greenwich, 
1740. (Printed fan.) 

Clarke, Robert. Publisher of Fanology, 
1797 ; Love Scene, 1795. (Printed fans.) 



A Robert Clarke was admitted member of 
the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers 
in 1756. His address is given as of " Mr. 
Clarke's in Bell Sauvage Yard, Ludgate 

Clarke & Co. Publishers of Gipsy Fan ; St 
James's Park, 1741 ; King's Theatre, 1788. 
(Printed fans.) 

Clarke & Simmons. Publishers of Eventail 
de Charades, 1791. (Printed fan.) 

Cochin, Nicholas, the elder. Engraver of a 
Hand-screen with the subject of the Triumphal 
Return of David with the Head of Goliath. 

Cock & Co. Publishers of Trial of Warren 
Hastings, 1788 ; Heraldic Fan, 1792. (Printed 

Cock, J. Publisher of The Minuet, 1782 ; 
Lieutenant- Colonel Tarleton, 1782. (Printed 

Cock, John & Co. Publisher of Medley of 
Puzzles, etc., 1791. (Printed fans.) 

Cock, John and Crowder (J. P.). Publisher 
of Drury Lane Theatre, 1794 ; The Alle- 
gorical Fan, 1794 ; Ten Country Dances and 
Five Cotillions, 1793 ; Almanack, 1796 ; 
English History, 1793 ; History of France, 
1793 ; The Oracle, 1800. (Printed fans.) 

Cock, William. Publisher of The Original 
Fanology, 1791 ; New Opera Fan, 1797. 
(Printed fans.) 
There were several persons named Cock 


who were members of the Worshipful Company 
of Fan Makers : Abraham Cock, admitted 
January 5, 1740. John Cock, of Wood Street, 
admitted December 5, 1759. Wm. Cock, ad- 
mitted November 5, 1778. Abraham Cock the 
younger, admitted March 19, 1795. 
Coker, B. Lord Howe's Victory, June i, 1794. 

(W. R.) (Printed fan.) 

Cooper, Robert. Engraver of Children with 
Dog ; The School for Scandal, 1796. (Printed 

Cortona, Pietro da Berrettini, 1596-1667, 
is said to have painted a fan which was 
shown at the Exhibition of Fans held in 
Drapery Hall, 1878. 

Coustellier, Fernando Y Compia. Fabrica di 
Abanicos, Paris ; El Telegrafo de Amor ; 
Floral fan. (Printed fans.) 

Desameaux, Charles, flourished 1680. This 
name is found spelt in several ways : " De 
Hames," " De Hantes," " De Heaulme," 
etc. Jal mentions this master as being in 
1656 " Marchand Edvantaillier et Ellumineur 
ordinaire de sa Majeste." (M. S.) 

Desparcs, F. Claude Lectere. " Fan Maker 
to His Majesty," circa 1680. (M. S.) 

Dyde and Scribe. Publishers of Road to 
Ruin, Charade Fan. (Printed fans.) 



Elizabeth, Princess. Designer of The Rest 

by the Wayside. (Printed fan.) 
Elven, J. P. Engraver of Medallions of Ships. 

(Printed fans.) 

Fleetwood, J. The Wheel of Fortune. 
(Printed fan.) 

Fontaine. Designer of Fan with three Medal- 
lions in Honour of Napoleon Bonaparte. 
(Printed fan.) 

Franks, H. Engraver of Parliamentary Fan, 
1741. (Printed fan.) 

French J. Publisher of Church Fan, 1770. 
(Printed fan.) 

Gamble, M. Publisher of Orange Fan (Marriage 
of Princess Anne with William of Orange, 
1734), published 1733 ; Henry VIII (after 
Hogarth), 1743 ; Harlot's Progress (after 
Hogarth), 1732 and 1733 ; The Church of 
England Fan, 1732-3 ; An Excise Fan, 1733 ; 
Chinese Scene, 1738 ; Moses Striking the Rock, 
1740 ; Damsel mourning the Loss of her 
Lover, 1739 ; The Sailor's Wedding ; Piping 
Shepherd, etc., 1739 ; Pastorelle, 1738 ; Romeo 
and Juliet, 1742 ; Haymaking, 1744. These 
are all printed from etched plates. 


Germo, Leonardo. Fan painter. Flourished at 
Rome about the beginning of the eighteenth 
century. A fan bearing his signature, with 
the subject of Venus and Adonis, is in the 
Victoria and Albert Museum ; another, also 
signed, painted with the " Triumph of 
Mordecai," was shown at the Exhibition of 
South Kensington 1870 ; still another, painted 
with an allegorical subject, belongs to Lady 
Northcliffe. (W. R.) 
Giordano, Luca. Painter. " La Renommee des 

Dieux et des Deesses." (M. S.) 

Godefroy. Engraver of Fan with Medallions in 

Honour of Napoleon Bonaparte. (Printed fan.) 

Goupy, Jose. Fan in Schreiber Collection, with 

Three Views in Rome. Signed with his 

name, followed by " 1738 N. A." His fan 

is included in the English Section. He was 

a fashionable water-colour painter principally 

of architectural subjects. 

Guiducci, Angelo. " The Five Senses." 

" Guilielmus, Dominus de Erqustan pinx, 

1673." The above signature is found on a fan 

painted with the Judgment of Midas. (M. S.) 

Guillot, Jacques. Fan maker to the King 

(Louis XIV), flourishing circa 1680. (M. S.) 


Hadwen, J. Publisher of Allegory on the 
Triumph of Spain, with Spanish inscrip- 
tion : " Publicada segun la ley pr. I. Hadwen, 


cort de la Corona, Cheapside, London/* 
(Printed fan.) He was admitted as member 
of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers 
November 5, 1772. 

Hammond. Designer and Engraver of The 
Progress of Love, late eighteenth century. 
(Printed fan.) 

Herault. Hand-screen in honour of the birth 
of the Dauphin, 1729. Inscription : " Per- 
mit d'inprimer 23rd September 1729." 

Herndly, Wm. Fan painter in Leicester Square. 

Hincks, W. Engraver of George III. (Printed 
fan.) > 

Herman, Christoph Fridr. Set of four Hand- 
screens representing Ballet Dancers. 

H. M., Mrs. Publisher of The Opera Fan (King's 
Theatre), 1788. (Printed fan.) 

Hollis, M. Publisher of The Casket Scene from 
the " Merchant of Venice," 1746. (Printed 

Hylton, Richard. Publisher of The New 
Nassau Fan, 1733. (Printed fan.) 

S. Publisher 
(Printed fan.) 

of Pensez a Vous, 1796. 

Jenner, J. Publisher of Ruins of a Church ; 
Woman riding pillion behind a man, who 
is talking to a priest. (Printed fan.) 


Jones, Chas. Publisher of Perpetual Almanack, 

1788. (Printed fan.) 
Joucy, Jacques. Fan maker to the King (Louis 

XIII), flourishing circa 1680. (M. S.) 


Kauffmann, Angelica, R.A. Designer of Fan 
in Honour of Alexander Pope ; Theft of 
Cupid's Bow ; Shakespeare's Tomb, 1790. 
(Printed fans.) 

Kerr, D. Publisher of " Fortune Telling by 
Cards," or the new Gipsy fan. 

Kleiner, S. Designer and Engraver of " Vienna, 
1756 " ; Three Medallions printed on Silk. 

Kymli. Painter to the Elector Palatine. Ex- 
hibited at " Le Salon de la Correspondence " 
in 1779 the " Toilet of Venus," painted on 
a fan (quoted by M. S. from " Nouvelles de 
la Republique des Lettres et des Arts," Paris, 


Lasinio, Conte Carlo. Copy of fan leaf by 
F. Bartolozzi, " Aurora." (Printed fan.) 

Le Brun. Fan attributed to this master was 
sold about 1884 in Spain. It represented 
fhryne before her Judges. It had for- 
merly belonged to the Duke of Medina- 
Coeli. (M. S.) 

Legrand, Pierre. Fan maker to the Duchesse 
d' Orleans, circa 1663. 


Louvion, J. B. Engraver of Landscape, Shep- 
herd and Shepherdess with Two Peasant 
Women. (Printed fan.) 

La Vega, Fo. Fan painter. Two fans in 
Schreiber Collection, representing the entry 
of Charles, King of the Two Sicilies, into 
Naples, 1734, and a Review at Gaeta, 1734, 
drawn with the pen in bistre and washed 
with Indian ink. 


Martin, F. Publisher of Heraldry Fan, 1792. 

(Printed fan.) 
Martini, P. Engraver of The Royal Family at 

the Exhibition of the Royal Academy, 1789. 

(Printed fan.) 
Maurer, W. "The Pyramid of Babylon." 

(Printed fan.) 
Moncornet, Balthasar. Publisher. Hand-screen 

with the subject of the Triumphal Return 

of David with the Head of Goliath. 


Neele, S. T. Engraver. History of France, 
1793 ; History of England, 1793 (Printed 


Onkruit, Theodore. Flourishing as fan painter 
about 1660 at La Have. (M. S.) 


Ovenden. Engraver. Heraldic Fan, 1792. 
(Printed fan.) 

Parr, N. Engraver. Ranelagh, 1751. (Printed 

Persier. Designer. Fan with Medallions in 
Honour of Napoleon Bonaparte. (Painted 

Pi chard. " Trs connu pour la feuille d'E van- 
tail ; il a chez lui d'excellents originaux," 
quoted by M. S. from " 1'Almanach d'indica- 
tion et d'adresse personnelle." 

Pinchbeck, Jonathan. The Fan and Crown 
in New Round Court, in the Strand. Pub- 
lisher of The Nassau Fan, 1733 ; Royal 
Repository ; Grove at Bath, 1737 ; Bath 
Needles, 1757 ; The Reason for the Motion 
'Satire on Walpole), 1741 ; Humours at New 
Tunbridge Wells, 1734 ; Vauxhall, 1737 ; The 
Dumb Oracle ; Courteny Fan, 1732 ; The Old 
Man's Folly, 1734 ; The Old Maid ; Amours 
of an Old Bachelor, 1734. (Printed fans.) 

Poggi, A. Publisher of Portraits of the Royal 
Family at the Royal Academy, 1789 ; Cameos, 
1780 ; Children with Battledores, 1788 ; The 
Power of Love, 1780 ; Cupid and Psyche, 
1799 ; Children with Tops, 1788 ; Victory, 
1782. (Printed fans.) 

Preston, J. Publisher of Royal Concert, 1781. 
(Printed fans.) 




Ramberg, P. Designer of The Royal Family 
at the Exhibition of the Royal Academy, 
1789. (Printed fan.) 

Ready J. Publisher of Prince and Princess of 
Wales, 1795 ; Female Seven Ages, 1797 ; 
Progress of Love (undated) ; The Good Swain, 
1790 ; The Good-for-Nothing Swain, 1795 ; 
The Altar of Love ; the Ladies' Bill of Fare ; 
The Selection of Beaux. (Printed fans.) 

Renau, M. le Chevalier. Designer of Gib- 
raltar. (Etched.) 

Romanelli. Signature on a fan belonging to 
Mme. Jubinal de Saint- Albin (Paris). Subject : 
The Rape of the Sabines. 

Sayer, Robert. Publisher. Ranelagh, 1751. 
(Printed fan.) 

Setchel, J. F. Publisher. Bartholomew Fair. 
(Printed fan.) 

Simpkins. Engraver. Road to Ruin ; Charade 
Fan ; Royal Emblems. (Printed fans.) 

Speren, G. Publisher. Pump Room, Bath ; 
J 737 ; Orange Grove, Bath, 1757. (Printed 

Springsguth, Junior. Music. (Printed fans.) 

Springsguth, S. Engraver. Duke of Welling- 
ton. (Printed fan.) 


Stokes, Scott, and Croskey. Publishers. Sur- 
render of Valenciennes, 1793 ; New Carica- 
ture Dance Fan for 1794 ; New Puzzle Fan, 
1794. (Printed fans.) 

Stothard. Designer. Lieutenant-Colonel Tarle- 
ton, 1782 ; Young Girl and Doves. (Printed 
fans.) One of his designs Three children 
with a dove and cage is reproduced on a 
French fan in the Schreiber Collection. 

Strange, Sir Robert. Engraver. Prince Charles 
Edward Stuart, and Allegorical figures ; 
Cameron of Lochiel as Mars and Flora 
MacDonald as Bellona, 1745. (Printed fan.) 

Sudlow's Fan Warehouse. Publishers of Royal 
Wedding, 1795. (Printed fan.) 


Thielcke, H. Engraver. "The Rest by the 

Wayside." (Printed fan.) 
" Tiquet facit." The signature on a fan in the 

Sale Catalogue of the Walker Collection 
which represents " Personages of the Court 
of the Regency playing Blind Man's Buff." 


Uwins. Designer of Neptune and Britannia 
with George III. (Printed fan.) 


Vaughan, Edward. The Necroman Trick Fan, 
1734. (Printed fan.) 


Voiriot, Les. Fan painters. Pierre flourishing 
about 1639 ; Claude, son of the above ; 
Nicholas, son of Claude, flourishing about 
1679. (M. S.) 


Watteau. Doubt has been expressed as to 
whether the great master ever painted fan 
leaves. Many have, however, been attributed 
to him, often on very slight grounds. M. S., 
writing in 1884, refers without name or date 
to a " recent sale " in London, where a fan 
painted by Watteau, representing a fte at 
Versailles, reached the sum of 12,500 frs., and 
another, which was sold in Spain, formerly 
the property of the Princess Adelaide of 
Savoy, by the same master, " Une Fte a 
Cythere," which was sold for 3,675 frs. 
Here again the name and date of the sale 
is not given, and I am unable to verify 

Weight man, Thos. Publisher of Portrait of 
Duchess of York, surrounded by dance music, 
1791. (Printed fan.) 

Wells, Lewis. Publisher and Engraver of 
" Gretna Green " ; Views of Margate, 1798 ; 
Engraver of Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton. 
(Printed fan.) 

Wilson, George. Designer and Engraver of 
Ladies' Bill of Fare ; A Selection of Beaux, 
1795 ; A Collection of Beaux, 1795 ; The 


Good Swain, 1795 ; The Good-for-Nothing 
Swain ; The Union, 1801 ; The Peace, 1801 ; 
Adviser and Moralist, 1797 ; The Lady's 
Physician ; The Quiz Club, 1797. (Printed 
fans.) The Ladies' Bill of Fare was pub- 
lished in two versions ; that issued on I4th 
February, 1795, bears the inscription : " Pub- 
lish'd as the Act direct (sic) by G. Wilson." 
A very similar design bears the inscription : 
" Geo. Wilson del*. London, Published Feb y . 
20, 1795, by J. Read, 133, Pall Mall." The 
Seven Ages ; The Female Seven Ages. 

A John Wilson, of Gary Street, was admitted 
a member of the Worshipful Company of 
Fan Makers 7th December, 1757 ; he may 
have been the father of George. 


Xavery, Francis. This name and the date 
" 1763 " occurs on a fine painted fan belong- 
ing to a Monsieur Vanneer, subject : " An 
Affianced Pair led by Hymen to the Altar 
of Love." (M. S.) 

In the above list where the initials M. S. or 
W. R. are appended to the particulars given, it 
indicates that the authority quoted is Le Livre 
de Collectioneurs (Maze Sencier) or the History 
of the Fan (Wooliscroft Rhead) 







I AM not calling these notes a Bibliography, 
because a list of the books which contain 
something bearing on one or other aspect 
of the subject would include hundreds of 
volumes, of which the overwhelming majority 
would not be of the slightest use to people who 
collect the comparatively modern European 
folding fan. By far the greater number of refer- 
ences would be to the ceremonial and ecclesiastical 
fans, which have so much of interest for the 
archaeologist, but which lie outside the period 
which produced those which form the subject 
of this volume. 

Rondot, Natalis : " Rapport sur les Ob jets 
de Parure, de Fantaisie et de Gout, fait a la 
Commission Fran$aise du Jury Internationale 
de 1'Exposition Universelle de Londres." 8vo. 
Paris, Imprimerie Imperiale, 1854. 

Blondel : " Histoire des Eventails chez tous 
les Peuples et a toutes les Epoques. Ouvrage 
illustre de 50 Gravures et suivi de Notices sur 
1'ficaille, la Nacre et 1'Ivoire." 8vo. Paris, 



Librairie Renouard, 1875. This is not quite such 
an interesting work as one might expect from 
the title. The illustrations are rather small, 
but there is much information as to the natural 
history of the materials mentioned. 

Uzanne, Octave : " The Fan." Illustrated by 
Paul Avril. 8vo. London, Nimmo and Bain, 
1884. An English translation of the amusing 
work originally written in French. It is full 
of anecdotes, poetry, and literary references, but 
of little practical value to a collector. The illus- 
trations are entirely fanciful, and do not reproduce 
a single actual specimen. 

Walker's Collection : " The Catalogues of the 
Cabinet of Old Fans, the Property of Mr. Robert 
Walker, of Umngton, Berkshire, etc., which will 
be sold by auction by Messrs. Sotheby, Wilkinson 
and Hodge on Thursday, the 8th of June, 1882, 
and two following days/* This has numerous 
autotype plates, which are excellent renderings 
of some very fine photographs. 

" Fans and Fan Leaves," English : Collected 
and Described by Lady Charlotte Schreiber. 
With 161 illustrations. London, John Murray, 
Albemarle Street, 1888. 

" Fans and Fan leaves," Foreign : Collected 
and Described by Lady Charlotte Schreiber. 
With 153 illustrations. London, John Murray, 
Albemarle Street, 1840. 

These two magnificent volumes contain litho- 
graphic reproductions (full size) of the cream of 


the collection of fans presented to the British 
Museum by the late Lady Charlotte Schreiber, 
which is to be found in the Department of Prints 
and Drawings. The first volume consists mainly 
of reproductions of printed leaves, the other 
includes some hand-painted examples. These give 
a very good idea of the original collection, but 
all who are interested in printed fans should see 
the fans themselves if possible. Besides the 
illustrations, there are a multitude of references 
to contemporary books and documents, which 
are most useful. 

" The Catalogue of the Collection of Fans and 
Fan Leaves presented to the Trustees of the British 
Museum by the Lady Charlotte Schreiber. Com- 
piled by Lionel Cust, M.A., F.S.A." 

A complete list of the Collection, with shortened 
versions of the notes in " Fans and Fan Leaves/' 
and revisions of some of the titles. It includes 
two indexes, one of the names of artists and 
publishers, and another of the most important 
persons, places, and events mentioned in the 
volume. A most valuable book of reference, 
especially to collectors of printed leaves. 

Flory, M. A. : "A Book about Fans." Pub- 
lished in America. An interesting book about 
old fans, and including a section on the art of 
painting fan leaves, of much use to those who 
wish to try their hand at this fascinating pursuit. 

G. Wooliscroft Rhead : " History of the Fan," 
London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and 


Co., Ltd., 1910. A most sumptuous volume, 
exquisitely illustrated with numerous plates in 
colour and half-tone. It contains chapters o 
Fans of the Ancients, Far East, Primitive Peoples 
The Flabellum and Early Feather Fan, leading 
up to the Painted and Printed Fans of Seventeenth 
and Eighteenth Century Europe. 

Vecellio : " Habiti Antichi et Moderni," 1590. 
Engravings of costumes, many of the figures 
holding fans in their hands. 

De Bruyn, A. : " Omnium Pene Europae," etc., 
1581. A somewhat similar work, 1581, of value 
to those studying the costumes of the sixteenth 
century ; , few of these fans have survived. 

" Coryat's Crudities " : Contains an account of 
Italian printed fans in the sixteenth century 
(which is quoted in its entirety, p. 106). 

Quilliet : " Dictionnaire des Peintres Espagnols." 

Salway, Mrs. : " Fans of Japan." 

Redgrave, S. : Catalogue of Fan Exhibition, 

Marcel, M. Gabriel : " Un Eventail Historique 
du dix-huitieme Siecle," Paris, 1901. 

The bound volumes of the Gonnoisseur should 
also be consulted on account of the numerous 
illustrations of exquisite examples of specimens 
in private collections not usually accessible to 
the public. For the tendency in fan decoration 
during the last twenty years the Studio magazine 
may be referred to, particularly the special number 
entitled " Modern Jewellery and Fans." 






REFERENCES to the fan are innumerable, both 
in fiction and in those biographies, diaries, and 
documents which are the groundwork on which 
history is built. From the point of view of this 
volume we may omit those which deal with it 
as the fan of the winnower who separates the 
chaff from the grain, as the instrument for dis- 
persing flies those children of Beelzebub and 
as the insignia of rank. But even omitting these, 
there is still left a wealth of material on which 
to draw. 

For in the eighteenth century it was universally 
in use. The pretty woman used it, knowing she 
added to her charms ; the clumsy woman used 
it in order to occupy her hands ; the ugly woman 
used it, as thereby she might at least obtain 
credit for elegance. 

Among these last Queen Charlotte, the wife 
of George III, is a well-known example. Not 
being dowered by Nature with any beauty of 
face, she made up for it by dignity of manner 



and the particularly fine contour of her figure, 
more especially of her hands and arms. So much 
so that Northcote subsequently declared that 
Queen Charlotte's plainness " was not a vulgar 
but an elegant plainness." This artist saw another 
grace in her. As he looked at Reynolds' portrait 
of her, fan in hand, Northcote remembering the 
sitting, exclaimed : " Lord, how she held that 
fan ! " 

References to the fan in French literature are 
naturally numerous, and often are of the some- 
what flowery type which we associate with the 
lighter side of eighteenth-century belle lettres. 
The fan is alternately a weapon of " the cruel 
fair," or a fan used as bellows to blow up the 
fires of love. 

Two jeux d' esprit in verse, quoted by Octave 
Uzanne, are given in the English translation of 
" The Fan/' 

The young Abb6 Mathieu de Montreuil, whose 
robes did not prevent him from carrying a sword, 
nor from being well known as a gallant, returned 
a fan to the owner, having robbed her of it for 
a short time. 

Pray be not angry, Ma'am, with me 
Because your fan I once withdrew ; 
I burn with love, and so you see 
I need its cool much more than you. 

This improvisation smells somewhat of the midnight 
oil, perhaps, but that is a way of these eighteenth- 
century impromptus. 


Louis XIV gave the Duchesse de Bourgogne 
a Chinese fan, accompanying the gift with the 
following lines : 

To chase in summer time the busy flies, 

To keep from cold when suns too quickly fade, 

China, Princess, here offers you its aid, 

In very gallant wise. I fain had offered gifts of other 


To chase all flatt'ring dull fools from the Court 
Such present had outshined 
The rest ; but this the crown 
Of gifts most worth renown 
It seeks but cannot find. 

Madame D'Aublay, in an account of a conversa- 
tion with a visitor, gives an account of the uses 
of the fan as understood in her day. 

He began playing with a fan, which was 
lying on a table. 

" How thoroughly useless a toy/' he observed, 
and she retorted in defence of the inevitable 
companion of all women at that time : " No, 
On the contrary, taken as an ornament, it 
was the most useful of any belonging to full 
dress : occupying the hands, giving the eyes 
something to look at, and taking away stiffness 
and formality from the figure and deportment." 

" Men have no fans," cried he, " and how do 
they do ? " 

" Worse," quoth I plumply. 

" But the real use of the fan," cried he, " if 
there is any, is it not to hide a particular blush 
that ought not to appear ? " 

Various Fans. Early nineteenth century. 

1. German Fan. Coloured lithograph. " The 
Goose with the Golden Egg/' 

2. English. , Painted and pierced bone. 

3. Dutch. Pierced and painted horn. 

4. Spanish Fan. " The Bull-Fight/' Cedar 
sticks inlet with steel. 




" Oh no, it would make it the sooner noticed." 

" Not at all ; it may be done under pretence 
at absence rubbing the cheek or nose, putting 
it up accidentally to the eye in a thousand 
ways/' and so on. 

The Baronne de Chapt, " (Euvre Philosophique," 
vol. i, 1 is earnest in her advice to women of the 
beau monde to learn how to make the best use 
of the fan. 

" It is so pretty/' says she, " so convenient, 
so suited to give countenance to a young girl, 
and to extricate her from embarrassment when 
she presents herself in a circle and blushes, that 
it cannot be too highly exalted. We see it 
straying over cheeks, bosoms, hands, with an 
elegance which everywhere produces admirers. 
Thus a citizeness sort of person, who is but 
so-and-so, according to the slang of the day, in 
wit and beauty, becomes supportable if she 
knows the different moves of the fan, and can 
adapt them to the right occasion. Love uses 
the fan as an infant a toy, makes it assume all 
sorts of shapes ; breaks it even, and lets it fall 
a thousand times to the ground. How many 
fans has not love torn ! They are the trophies 
of his glory and the images of the caprices of 
the fair sex ! 

"It is not a matter of indifference a fallen fan. 
Such a fall is ordinarily the result of reflection, 
intended as a test of the ardour and celerity of 

1 Uzanne, " The Fan." 


aspiring suitors. They run, they prostrate them- 
selves, and he who picks up the fan first, and 
knows how stealthily to kiss the hand that takes 
it, carries off the victory. The lady is obliged 
for his promptitude, and it is then that the eyes 
in sign of gratitude speak louder even than the 

If it had all the uses with which the witty 
Baronne credits it, small wonder that it was 
popular ; but it is said that the real reason that 
it came into high favour with somewhat of a 
bound in the latter half of the seventeenth century 
was a rude remark made by that past mistress 
of rudeness, Christina of Sweden, about the 
year 1656. 

D'Alembert, in his " Reflections and Anecdotes 
of the Queen of Sweden," relates that some 
ladies of the Court inquired her opinion as to 
whether fans might be carried in winter as well 
as in summer. They probably expected to pro- 
pitiate her by deferring to her opinion, but as 
she was most contemptuous of anything in the 
way of feminine airs and graces, she replied with 
an insulting remark, which (to retain the play 
on the words eventail eventees) may be trans- 
lated " Fans ! What do you want with fans ? 
you're fantastic enough already ! " To avenge 
themselves for this brusque reply to their polite- 
ness, they all furnished themselves with fans, 
using them on every occasion, and from their 
example the fashion spread over Europe. They 


must have been unfortunate in hitting on what 
was evidently one of Christina's pet aversions, 
because on another occasion Michel Dahl, a Swedish 
painter, proposed to paint her fan in hand. On 
hearing the suggestion, Christina angrily cried : 
" What's that ? A f an ? Never ! Give me a 
lion ; it is the sole attribute which suits a queen 
like me." 

It is hard in some of the anecdotes given about 
fans to judge between romance and history, 
Often an inquiry into facts shows that the dates 
of the alleged occurrences make it impossible 
for them really to have happened under the 

Take, for instance, the well-known and often- 
quoted passage from " Le Cousin Pons," by 
Balzac, in which is recounted the presentation 
by Pons to his cousin of " a gem of a fan enclosed 
in a little box of West India wood, signed by 
Watteau, and formerly the property of Madame 
de Pompadour." The old musician bends before 
his cousin and offers her the fan of the historic 
favourite, with these words of royal gallantry : 

"It is time for that which has served Vice to 
be in the hands of Virtue. A hundred years 
must wane e'er that miracle can be worked. 
You may be very sure that no princess possesses 
anything to compare with this exquisite master- 
piece, for it is unhappily human nature to do 
more for a Pompadour than for a virtuous 



Here the inference clearly is that Watteau 
had put his best work on a fan especially painted 
for La Pompadour, for if not, the whole reason 
of the flowery compliment falls to the ground. 
This, however, was impossible, unless Watteau 
painted prophetically, as he died the very year 
in which she was born. 

The fans of "La Belle Marquise " have inspired 
not a few poets and romancers (among whom 
may be included the compilers of catalogues !), 
and they love to " put a name " to the painters 
of those thus immortalized. 

Hear Mr. Austin Dobson on the subject. " On 
a Fan that belonged to the Marquise de Pompa- 
dour " : 

Chicken skin delicate, white, 

Painted by Carl Vanloo, 
Loves in a riot of light, 

Roses and vapours blue. 

Hark to the dainty frou frou, 

Picture above, if you can, 
Eyes that could melt as the dew 

This was the Pompadour's Fan ! 

During the reign of the fan in England con- 
temporary writers never wearied of using it as 
a text for essays, satires and poems. Steel, in 
the Taller, No. 52, August 4, 1709, has an 
amusing letter on the subject (too long here to 
quote in its entirety). Delamira, most lovely 
of maidens, is represented as being on the eve 
of her marriage consulted by the fair Virgetta, 


who, though charming in every way, has never 
received a proposal. From her happy friend she 
therefore begs " the excellences which now she 
must leave of!," including " that inexpressible 
beauty in your manner of playing your fan." 
It appeared that in this " inestimable rarity," 
left to her by her mother, lay the secret of her 
success and of all her " Conquests and 
Triumphs." Moreover, she also gave instructions 
as to its use. 

' You see, Madam, Cupid is the principal 
figure painted on it ; and the skill in playing 
this Fan is in your several Motions of it to let 
him appear as little as possible ; for honourable 
Lovers fly all endeavours to ensnare them ; and 
your Cupid must hide his Bow and Arrow, or he 
will never be sure of his Game. You may observe 
in all publick Assemblies the sexes seem to 
separate themselves and to attack each other 
with Eye-shot ; that is the time when the Fan, 
which is the Armour of Woman, is of most use 
in her Defence ; for our minds are constructed 
by the waving of that little instrument, and our 
thoughts appear in Composure or Agitation accord- 
ing to the Motion of it. 

" You may observe when Will Peregrin comes 
into the side box, Miss Gatty flutters her Fan as a 
Fly does its wings round a candle ; while her elder 
sister, who is as much in love with him as she 
is, is as grave as a Vestal at his entrance, and 
the consequence is accordingly. He watches half 


the play for a glance from her sister, while Gatty 
is overlooked and neglected. I wish you heartily 
as much success in the management of it as I 
have had. . . . Take it, Good Girl, and use it 
without Mercy and without Remorse, for the 
Reign of Beauty never lasted above Three Years, 
but it ended in Marriage or Condemnation to 

Addison in the Spectator, too, gives instruction 
in the use of this weapon, for " Women are armed 
with Fans as Men are with swords." 

" There is an infinite variety of motion to be 
made use of in the flutter of a Fan. 

" There is the angry Flutter, the modest Flutter, 
the timorous Flutter, the confused Flutter, the 
merry Flutter, the amorous Flutter. Not to be 
tedious, there is scarce any emotion of the Mind 
which does not produce a similar agitation of the 
Fan ; inasmuch if I only see the Fan of a disci- 
plined Lady I know very well if she laughs, 
frowns, or blushes. I have seen a fan so very 
angry that it would have been dangerous for 
the absent lover who provoked it to come within 
the wind of it. And at other times so very lan- 
guishing that I have been glad for the Lady's 
sake the lover was at a sufficient distance from 
it. I need not add that the Fan is either a Prude 
or a Coquette according to the nature of the 
person who bears it ! " 

So here is no question of magic in the Fan 
itself, as with the all- conquering weapon oi 


Steele's Delamira, but only the " discipline " of 
hand that wielded it. 

And it was for this discipline that Addison 
proposed to set up his Fan Academy, where 
ladies who aspired to carry their fans according 
to the latest fashion could learn all the newest 
modes. And not ladies alone. " I teach young 
gentlemen the whole art of gallanting a Fan. 
N.B. I have reserved little plain fans made for 
this use, to avoid expense " (Spectator, No. 102). 

It was necessary for ladies, as a matter of fact, 
to study the way to use their fans, as this matter 
marked the difference between the gentlewoman 
and the others. 

Pray ladies, copy Abington ; 
Observe the breeding in her air, 
There's nothing of the actress there ! 
Assume her fashion if you can 
And catch the graces of her fan. 

The origin of the fan, too, was a subject on 
which writers, French and English, were never 
weary of dilating. That it came from the East 
there is no manner of doubt, and various legends 
are recounted of its first invention. One version 
of the origin of the folding fan makes it the inven- 
tion of a Japanese goddess, and if not credible, 
it is at least pretty. 

An Emperor far back in the ages had a faithful 
minister, who was not only a loyal servant, but 
a beloved friend ; he was the sharer of all his 


most intimate secrets, and the custodian of the 
most precious of his worldly goods. By the 
machinations of a jealous relative the once trusted 
follower was to all appearances proved guilty of 
a breach of faith. It was in vain that he applied 
for permission to explain matters ; his Imperial 
master considered the proof beyond all doubt, 
and said : " Behold this fan (which was a screen 
fan). You and I were one, even as the handle 
is a support to the leaf. I crush the stick to 
splinters beneath my heel, and crush the leaf 
in my hands, and so do I tear you from my heart 
and discard you utterly. Never shall I have 
faith in you again, for trust once lost can no more 
be restored than this fan can be made whole and 
fair once more/' 

The kneeling suitor humbly picked up the 
fragments and left the Imperial presence. 

Nothing was left to him but to perform the 
sacrifice of Hari Kari, the only honourable course 
for one in his position. 

Before he died he prayed at the shrine of the 
goddess, but all his prayer was not for himself, 
but for his master, that he might be faithfully 
served by those who had succeeded him in h;s 
office. The heart of the goddess was touched 
by his unselfishness, and the oracle spoke. 

" Pick up the bundle of pieces of the broken 
fan and return to thy master's presence, and 
there spread them at his feet." 

Hardly knowing which to fear most the 


consequences of obedience in the wroth of the 
Emperor if he again ventured into his presence, 
or that of the goddess if he failed to carry out 
her commands, on the morrow he again sought 
his master. 

The goddess had, however, prepared his way 
by a dream, and he was received graciously. 
Again he knelt and recounted the oracle's words ; 
as he did so he opened out the fragments, and 
to his amazement there was a perfect folding 
fan. The splinters of bamboo from the handle 
were the sticks, and the crumpled paper fell into 
place as the folds of the fan. 

The Emperor recognized the miracle. 

" Dear hast thou been to me before, ever at 
my side, as my fan which hung at my girdle. 
Now thou wilt have thy place in my heart, as my 
fan which I carry in the folds of my robe over 
my breast." 

So, confounding the ill will of his enemies, the 
faithful minister lived, ever growing dearer to 
his master, until both died on the same day, and 
were conducted by the goddess to the Abode of 
the Blessed. 

The " origin of the fan/' as related on a fan 
leaf etched and coloured by hand in the manner 
so usual in the eighteenth century, printed in 
France for the Spanish market, is given as being 
a wing torn from Zephyr by Cupid. 

The etching shows Psyche asleep, while Cupid 
stands by with the wing in his hands, which he 


had retained as a result of intervening to protect 
her from the approach of Zephyr. Psyche after- 
wards waved it to and fro, and finding it cooled 
the air, ever afterwards used it as a fan. 




Battoir. A curious type of fan, the sticks being 
broadened out in a way which, in the most 
typical examples, resembles a racket. 

Brin. The French term for the inner sticks of 
a fan. 

Brise. A fan without a leaf, consisting of sticks 
of some stiff material joined by means of 
a ribbon. (See Chapter IV.) 

Cabriolet. A fan with two (sometimes three) 
narrow leaves in place of the ordinary broad 
ones. Most fans of this kind are decorated 
with representations of the vehicle of the 
same name, but it is used for two-leaved 
fans, however decorated. 

Camaieu. A painting in different shades of one 
colour, most generally rose or blue. This 
kind of ornament was extremely popular in 
the mid-eighteenth century, china, engravings 
and printed cottons all being decorated thus. 

Care of Fans, The. Delicate and costly posses- 
sions such as fine fans deserve the utmost 
care in storage, and as a rule they are not 
subjected to rough treatment. It is, how- 
ever, quite possible to do them a great deal 



of harm without knowing it. Just as the 

well-known precept as to gruel rules that 

it should be " thin, but not too thin/' so 

fans should be kept " dry, but not too dry/' 

A very warm situation may perish the ivory 

and skin, cause the paint to flake off, and 

destroy the glue. Damp is even worse : 

it deadens the gilding, unfastens the glue, 

and may even cause mildew spots to appear. 

If a fan is in use, do not allow it to be brought 

near the fire, or to be laid on a table where 

moisture may be spilt. Fans should not be 

stored open : it spoils the folds, and makes 

the skin liable to crack. There are cases 

in which fans can be displayed framed almost 

like pictures, but it always appears to me 

that shown in this way they lose half their 

charm. And although, of course, a properly 

glazed airtight case does away with the 

danger of dust and atmospheric moisture, it 

is not good for the leaf to be kept extended. 

One of the best ways of preserving them 
is to keep them in a cabinet (or cabinets, 
according to the size of the collection) with 
shallow drawers, each in a numbered case or 
compartment corresponding with a catalogue 
in which particulars of the history of the 
fan, as far as it can be ascertained, should 
be noted, together with a brief description. 

Each fan should, unless the cabinet is 
absolutely dust-proof, have some sort of 


case or cover. The original case, if it is 
available, is, of course, the most interesting ; 
if not, a slip of silk or brocade. It is a pretty 
idea to have the slips of old silk of a date 
corresponding to the fan, or at least of appro- 
priate design. Old fine chintz, or " printed 
callicoe," as it was called in the eighteenth 
century, is appropriate for the earlier paper 
fans with etched leaves. These slips help 
to lessen changes of temperature, besides 
keeping away dust and moisture. 

Broken fans can always be repaired, and 
missing sticks and portions of the leaves 
replaced if such accidents have unfortunately 
occurred ; but it is best to have these repairs 
done by experts, as even a slight overplus 
of glue may lead to considerable damage 
when a fan is put away. Ordinary glue and 
cement is too stiff and hard, and causes the 
skin or paper to crack. A special elastic glue 
is best used, which never becomes absolutely 
hard, but retains its elasticity. 

Ivory, if soiled, may be cleaned with a 
suspicion of lemon juice on a soft cloth ; 
water should never be used. 

In the case of some of the less important 
fans it is quite possible to execute trifling 
repairs if due care is taken. The following 
precautions must be observed: Dust. is very 
apt to collect in the interstices of pierced 
ivory, bone, and horn fans, and moisture 


should never be used to remove it under any 
circumstances. In any case it only drives 
it firmly into the crevices, and in the case 
of horn the damp is absorbed by the edges 
of the piercing, rendering them rough and 
uneven. A piece of chamois leather or 
Selvyt cloth, used dry, with a slight amount 
of pressure, will generally prove sufficient. 

Grease spots on paper may be removed 
by petrol or benzine, used out of doors, or, 
at all events, at a safe distance from a flame. 
It is not advisable to use these liquids on 

Rusted steel spangles or cut-steel guards 
are very difficult to treat. They may be 
reburnished, but fans on which they are 
found are only rarely of sufficient importance 
to justify the expense. In the case of a 
few rusted spangles or plaques it is best to 
have them replaced by fresh ones, as the 
rust has generally perished the stitches, and 
their disappearance is only a question of 

Ordinary silver and gold spangles must 
not be replaced by the spangles purchased 
at fancy-work shops, which are made of 
celluloid, and do not give the same effect. 

Gilding must always be done by an expert ; 
it is almost an impossibility for an amateur, 
and the little paper binding at the top of 
a fan is always a very difficult thing to 


replace, and as, if badly done, it is almost 
impossible to put right, it is better to have 
it done properly, or leave it alone. 

Chicken Skin. The greater number of the 
finest fans of the eighteenth century are 
painted on a kind of vellum known as chicken 
skin. It is not made from the skin of chickens, 
or indeed of any bird (though it has been 
said to have been made from turkey skin !), 
but is prepared from very young animals. 
The finest, it is said, was obtained by killing 
the mother before the birth of her offspring. 
It is extremely thin, and very delicate and 
supple. It shows no grain looked at in the 
ordinary way, but if held up to the light 
it has a slightly mottled appearance, which 
shows at once what it is, and distinguishes 
it from paper, which was sometimes treated 
with a surface preparation so as to resemble 
it. Paper always shows parallel lines. 
Chicken skin fans require especial care, as 
they are easily affected by both heat and 
damp. If kept in too hot a place the skin 
may become hard, and ultimately perish, 
and damp produces mildew and stiffness 
when the skin is re-dried. An even medium 
temperature is the safest, and they should 
be opened and shut as seldom as possible. 

Colour Prints. The distinction must be care- 
fully observed between " Colour Prints/' 
" Coloured Prints,'' and " Printed in Colour." 



The first term is used to imply those prints 
in which several different colours are used 
on one impression so as to obtain an effect 
not unlike water-colour painting. Very rich 
and very delicate effects can be obtained. 
It is an artistic process, and good examples 
are highly esteemed. 

" Coloured Prints " are those in which 
the outline and certain details are indicated 
by an impression from an etched or engraved 
block, the colouring being added by hand. 
There seems no reason why these should 
have been so roughly carried out as they 
usually were. With more careful handling 
good results would have been attained. 

" Prints in Colour/' " Printed in Colour." 
These terms are generally used for impres- 
sions from engraved blocks printed in one 
colour only, such as red, blue, or green. 

All these varieties are to be found on fan 
leaves. Also prints in black or sepia on 
vivid grounds, such as royal blue, jade, 
orange, or rose; in some cases the black is 
used as the background, relieving figures in 
silhouette of colour after the fashion of a 
Greek vase. 

Cockade Fans. Those which open out to a 
circular form, and shut up against a fairly 
long handle. 

Etching. Most of the older printed fan leaves 
are decorated with etchings, which were 


coloured by hand ; they must not be con- 
founded with pen-and-ink drawings, sometimes 
erroneously called etchings. These leaves 
were printed from copper plates. The method 
employed was first of all to coat the copper 
with a suitable varnish, to this the design 
was transferred, and then scratched with 
a needle so as to expose the copper. The 
plate was then placed in a bath of acid, 
which eat into the copper wherever the var- 
nish had been removed. The superfluous 
varnish having been cleaned off, printer's ink 
was rubbed into the sunk lines ; paper was 
laid over the plate, and by means of a press 
the design was transferred to the paper. 
It will be noticed that, contrary to printing 
from ordinary blocks, in which the picture 
is raised, the design is sunk into the plates. 
Few etched fans are of any importance 
from an artistic point of view ; they are 
probably the work of ordinary employees of 
the publishing firms, who had no pretensions 
to be anything more than skilled workmen. 
Feathers. Both peacocks' and ostrich feathers 
have been used for decorating fans. Princi- 
pally they were grouped in an ornamental 
handle so as to form a screen-shape fan. 
For folding fans they were sometimes used 
as an edging. Folding fans made altogether 
of feathers seem to be a nineteenth-century 


i and 2. Etched and hand-coloured fans. " In 
the Chinese taste." These fans were very popular 
in the first half of the eighteenth century. 



Goldfish. A very richly coloured mother-o'- 
pearl, principally used for inlay. 

Gorge. The part of the stick between the 
shoulder and the head. 

Gouache. Painting in body colour. The medium 
used was elastic, and will stand a wonderful 
amount of usage without cracking. It is 
quite different to ordinary modern water 
colour, such as Chinese white, which should 
on no account be used for any attempted 

Grisaille. A painting in tones of grey, shading 
from black to white, no colour being intro- 

Guards. The outer sticks, which are always 
much stronger and broader than the inner 

Head. The portion of the stick through which 
the pin passes. 

Leaf. The broad band of skin, paper, silk, or 
other textile fabric which unites the upper 
part of the sticks of a folding fan. 

Lithography. This is a process which was in- 
vented at the end of the eighteenth century 
and applied to the printing of caricatures 
and fans, especially in the early and middle 
parts of the nineteenth century. Later on 
it was to a considerable extent superseded 
by other methods. 

The design is drawn with a greasy pencil 
or pen and oily ink on a stone, which has 


the two properties of taking a very fine 
surface polish and the absorption of water. 
When the drawing is complete the stone is 
fastened in a press and damped ; the 
undrawn on stone absorbs the water, while 
the greasy design is free from moisture. An 
ink roller is then applied, when the result is 
reversed, the ink is attracted to the greasy 
design, and the background is left clean. 
Printing then takes place in the usual way. 
Lithography can be used for single coloured 
(generally black) outlines and shading, or 
it can be used for printing in various colours. 
As a rule, for fans that are over eighty years 
old, the outline only is printed, the colour 
being applied by hand. 

Lithographed fans are seldom of any 

interest to the collector, but it is very neces- 

, sary for the inexperienced buyer to beware 

of " Restoration Fans," which in very many 

cases have a lithographed base. 

These fans are the result of a craze for 
fans in the old style, which took the fashion- 
able world of Paris by storm. As sufficient 
genuine old specimens could not be dis- 
covered, the clever purveyors of trinketry 
supplied the demand with new fans, which 
bear considerable resemblance to their proto- 
types. In order to economize time the outlines 
were painted by lithography, and the painting 
done by hand, disguising as far as possible 


the mechanical base. The lithographic line 
is very like a pencil line, and either innocently 
or not they are palmed off on unwitting buyers 
as " Louis XV antiques." Of course, to a 
collector who has intelligently studied a 
single real fan, the idea of any one falling 
into an error regarding these fans seems 
preposterous and ridiculous. I know, how- 
ever, personally of two cases where quite 
good prices have been given for them. The 
sticks often are elaborately carved and 
handsomely gilt, though the workmanship is 
coarse ; still, the effect is brilliant and rich 
to an inexperienced eye. 

There were also simple fans of about the 
same period with lithographed and painted 
figure groups in pseudo-Watteau style. The 
drawing of these figures has a curiously 
" old-fashioned " flavour, quite different to 
the style of the originals. It is rather puzzling 
why the designers at this date, instead of 
copying the originals, preferred to evolve 
something of the same sort " out of their 

inner consciousness." 

Fans there are of Spanish origin for which 
their owners proudly claim antiquity. These 
are almost always adorned with lithographs 
of bull-fights and scenes in and near the 
bull-ring. These fans are seldom earlier 
than 1855 or 1850, and are of little interest. 
The colours are generally in the earlier ones 


applied by hand, later they are printed in 
chromo-lithography. The sticks are often of 
sandalwood, inlet with plaques of burnished 
steel. Many of these appear to have been 
printed as souvenirs, attractive to the tourist 
rather than for native use, though paper 
fans were carried in the streets. There are 
many bright-coloured fans of this calibre, 
which are not unattractive as decorative 
objects, but they are too numerous and coarsely 
executed to have any special value to the 
collector. I have seen these fans offered for 
sale as " Antique Spanish Fans/' having had 
their sticks gilded and burnished, which 
made them very effective for use ; but I 
imagine that disappointment and disillu- 
sionment must have ensued when the unwary 
purchaser showed the " treasure " to any 
one who knew about fans. 

Mosaique. The term used by French workmen 
of the time of Louis XVI to describe the 
style of ornament used in the sticks of that 
period. It consisted of a finely perforated 
ground and solid reserves carved in bas 
relief. (See p. 224.) 

Panaches. The French term for the outer sticks 
of a fan. 

Paper. Almost all printed fan leaves and many 
painted ones are executed on a paper ground. 
The material used is, of course, " hand made," 
as machine-made paper is quite a modern 


invention, only dating from the nineteenth 

The method of manufacture is a simple 
one, though it involves a considerable amount 
of technical skill and knowledge. As is 
well known, paper is produced from rags 
reduced to pulp by boiling and grinding. 
A small quantity of the liquid pulp is taken 
up in a mould, which consists of a frame 
covered with fine wire cloth, and having a 
movable edge known as the " dekkle." The 
workman spreads the pulp on the wire by 
giving it a shake, and the dekkle being re- 
moved, the soft sheet is laid on a piece of 
felt to dry, another piece of felt is laid on 
top of it, and on this the next sheet is placed ; 
the process being continued until a large 
enough pile is produced to take to the press, 
where the superfluous water is removed. 
This way of making paper leaves a clear 
impress of the wires in the paper in the shape 
of fine lines, crossed at intervals by rather 
heavier lines. The watermarks which are 
found in some sheets are formed by wires bent 
to the required shape, which form part of 
the mould, and appear in the finished sheet 
when held up to the light as a transparent 
outline, owing to the paper being thinner 
where they occur. 

Italy, France, and Holland were noted 
for their manufacture of paper, but until 


1685 the finer kinds do not appear to have 
been made in England, and for a considerable 
time after that date a large amount was 
imported from the Continent, so that a foreign 
watermark does not necessarily imply that 
a fan is of foreign provenance. 

The paper used for the etched and hand- 
coloured fans which had such an immense 
vogue in the eighteenth century is thin, 
tough, and of fairly smooth surface. It has 
generally attained a very creamy tint with 
age, and, indeed, was probably not very white 
to begin with, as the present day methods of 
bleaching not being known, the makers had 
to rely on the purity of colour of the material 
from which the paper was made. What it 
lost in whiteness it gained in durability, and 
the fans of that day, save for actual wear 
and tear, are still as good as when they were 
made, while much modern paper discolours 
and loses its flexibility in a very short time. 

Evelyn gives an account of paper making 
which is interesting, because it describes 
the process followed at the date of the 
introduction of white paper of English 
manufacture : 

During August 24, 1678. 

" I went to see my Lord of St. Alban's 
house at Byflete, an old large building. 
Thence to the paper mills, where I found 
them making a coarse white paper. They 


cull the rags which are linnen for white paper, 
woollen for brown ; then they stamp them 
in troughs to a papp with pestles or hammers 
like ye powder mills, then put it into a vessell 
of water, in which they dip a frame closely 
wyred with wyre as small as a haire and as 
close as a weaver's reede ; on this they take 
up the papp, the superfluous water draining 
through the wyre ; this they dexterously 
turning, shake out like a pancake, on a 
smooth board between two pieces of flannell, 
then presse it between a greate presse, the 
flannell sucking out ye moisture ; then 
taking it out they ply and hang it on strings, 
as they dry linnen in the laundry ; then 
dip it in alum- water lastly polish, and make 
it up into quires. They put some gum in 
the water in which they macerate the raggs. 
The mark we find on the sheets is formed 
in the wyre." 

It will be seen that the method is prac- 
tically the same as that in use in the eighteenth 
century, and, as a matter of fact, differs very 
little from that in use at the present day 
for manufacturing hand-made paper. 
Paste. Imitation stones are often set in the 
head of the pins, and sometimes in the guards. 
As a rule these are white, but red " rubies," 
green " emeralds," and blue " sapphires " 
are also found. Tiny pastes are also inset 
in the guards of some horn " Empire " fans. 


These have no metal setting, but fit into 
small circular depressions set in the horn. 
They have a somewhat meretricious effect, 
but suited the theatrical taste of the day. 

Pen-and-ink Drawings. Many eighteenth- 
century fans are decorated with delicately 
executed drawings of this kind. Sometimes 
these are mistakenly called etchings. A true 
etching is printed from a copper plate by a 
mechanical process (see under Etching). 
Often the pen-and-ink work is heightened 
by washes, sometimes of sepia or Indian 
ink, sometimes of colour, which give a very 
different effect to the pure pen and ink. 
These fans appear to have been often intended 
for use as mourning fans, but this is by no 
means always the case. 

Pin. Another term for Rivet, which see. 

Piqu. Decorated by small gold or silver points 
or pins. 

Ribbon. Brise fans are always held together 
by a ribbon. At first sight it appears as 
if a continuous length passed through the 
whole fan. Closer inspection, however, reveals 
that the ribbon consists of as many short 
pieces as there are brins, so that the ribbon 
may be attached to the sticks, and not merely 
pass through them. 

The ribbon used was a fine close silk weave, 
very like what is known as " China " ribbon, 
but hardly so thick. It should just fill the 


width of the slits, as if it is too narrow it 
looks poor, while if even slightly too wide it 
interferes with the set of the fan when folded. 

In Vernis Martin fans the ribbon is fixed 
at the very top of the fan, and is painted, to 
be in keeping with the rest of the decoration. 

Many fans have had the ribbon replaced 
probably more than once but in a great 
many cases the purity of the old silk has 
carried the original on to our day. 

If the ribbon requires replacing, it is a 
question whether the original tint should 
be used, or one as near as possible to that 
to which the old one had faded. In deciding 
this, it is as well to consider the preservation 
of the rest of the decoration. If it is fresh 
and many fans, such as the Dutch painted 
horn minuet fans, are as bright as when 
they were made certainly a bright, though 
soft, tint should be selected. If, on the 
other hand, the decoration is old and faded, 
or if the ivory of a pierced fan has yellowed 
with age, then a duller brownish shade will 
harmonize best, though even then a little more 
colour than remains in the original may be an 
advantage if it is very perished and brown. 
The Rivet is the pin which passes through the 
hole in the head of the fan stick and acts 
as a pivot on which the sticks turn as they 
are furled and unfurled. 

In early times it appears to have been 



as a rule actually riveted. To this end a 
small portion of the metal, of which it was 
composed, was left protruding beyond the 
washer and spread out by blows from a 
hammer, so that it could not be again with- 
drawn. The washer or button was generally 
of ivory or mother-o'-pearl. This made a 
neat and secure fastening, but it had a dis- 
advantage that if the fan required repair 
it was a little troublesome to unfasten it. 
However, that was not a serious matter, and 
this method of securing the pin has endured 
to the present day, especially for the less 
elaborate fans. Where, however, the head 
of the pin is of an ornamental kind, and has 
a paste or precious stone set in it, riveting 
as a means of securing it is obviously impossi- 
ble. The alternate method is to make the 
rivet in two parts, one hollow with a screw 
turned on the inside, into which the other 
half screws. Such pins can be easily removed 
and replaced, which is often a convenience, 
and they have often taken the place of the 
older plain ivory or pearl buttons. 

The setting of the stones, whether paste 
or real, should be examined to see whether 
the pin is an old one ; the majority of modern 
settings are " gallery " or " built up " settings, 
while the old ones are cut down. In the 
former the claws that hold the stone consist 
of fine wires or stamped-out metal, while 


in the latter case the stone is set in a compara- 
tively stout metal, the sides being cut away 
by means of a sharp chisel, leaving the claws 
standing out in ridges, having a very bright 
gleaming effect, though this is often dimmed 
by tarnish. 

Some fans have a metal loop intended for 
the attachment of a ribbon fastened on by 
means of the pin. These were not originally put 
on to fans until the early nineteenth century, 
but they have, of course, been added to some 
fans of earlier date, in which case the original 
pin has, as a rule, been replaced by a longer 
one to allow for the additional thickness of 
the loop. 

Rococo (Rocaille). A somewhat extravagant 
style of decoration in vogue in the days of 
Louis XV. It generally included numerous 
ornamental features, such as rockwork, 
stalactites, Chinamen, birds, foliage, flowers, 
scrolls, wreaths, figures, trellis-work in fact, 
almost everything was pressed into the 
service, provided it gave the desired effect. 
Everything was one-sided, panels were never 
rectangular, but of irregular outline, bounded 
by curves ; frequently they were higher at 
one side than the other. In the hands of 
a master of design the effect is sometimes 
excellent when all the surroundings are in 
keeping, but otherwise it easily degenerates 
into the absurd. 



Shoulder. The point of the stick immediately 
below the leaf. In early fans it sets off almost 
at right angles, the line generally following 
the lower line of the leaf. At the end of 
the eighteenth century the top of the shoulder 
was rounded. Brise" fans, as a rule, have no 
shoulder, except a slight indication on the 

Spangles were, during the last half of the 
eighteenth century, applied to almost every 
article of women's attire, and, of course, 
were much used on fans. They were applied 
to the typical Louis XVI fan as a frame 
for the frequent three medallions, and were 
also introduced into other parts of the design. 
Later on whole designs were worked out in 
them, and on many " Empire " fans they 
are the sole decoration. Spangles are of 
two kinds, hammered and stamped ; the 
older variety is round, with a small hole 
in the middle. It is sometimes thought that 
these consist of small plates of metal with a 
hole pierced in them, but this is not the case ; 
they are made out of tiny rings of wire 
subjected to severe pressure, which spreads 
the metal inwards and outwards until the 
opening in the centre is only large enough 
to admit the passage of a needle. On close 
examination a fine line may be traced where 
the two ends of the metal ring meet. Some- 
times these spangles are not spread quite 


so much, and these take the form of a 
broad ring. 

The other kind which were used later are 
variously shaped as small stars, ovals, flower 
shapes, and so on. They are not flat, being 
somewhat raised in the centre, and were 
punched or stamped out of extremely thin 
sheets of metal. Complete designs of a 
floral character are sometimes worked out 
in such spangles, either alone or in conjunc- 
tion with frosted gilt metal stamped in 
openwork patterns. 

Steel spangles were also very fashionable 
at the end of the eighteenth century and 
the beginning of the nineteenth. These also 
were made in a variety of forms by the firm 
of Boulton and Watt, Birmingham, the metal 
used being burnished to an extraordinary 
degree of brilliancy. Used in conjunction 
with matt gilt metal, glittering and showy 
effects were easily obtained. Small stamped 
ornaments similar in appearance to spangles, 
but without the central hole, are often inlaid 
into ivory and bone sticks of late eighteenth 
and early nineteenth century date ; some of 
these have a small pin at the back which 
fits into a perforation in the ivory, making 
for greater security than when simply glued 
into a circular depression. 

Stick. The skeleton or framework of a folding 
fan, consisting of the outer or guard sticks 



(French panaches) and the inner sticks 
(French brins). 

Water Colour. When this term is used it 
generally means that the painting is done 
in transparent colour, without body-colour 
of any kind. 

Whalebone. This material is not used for fans, 
but horn fans are often erroneously so called. 

Woods. The chief kinds used for fans are sandal- 
wood, which was much appreciated on account 
of its pleasant odour ; holly, which was 
almost white in colour, but rather brittle ; 
laburnum, a yellowish tough wood with a 
close grain, which was suitable for fine 
pierced work. The slips which extend the 
sticks under the leaf beyond the shoulder are 
generally of wood, even when the visible 
part is ivory, pearl, or tortoiseshell. 



[For proper names consult also Chapter VII, which contains a 
list of Fan Painters, Publishers and Designers.] 

Adams, William, 259 
Addison, quoted, 309 
D'Alembert, quoted, 304 
Arevalo, Cano de, 77 
Argus Pheasant Fan, 205 
Arms of Fanmakers' Com- 
pany, 223 
Ashton, Sarah, 259 
Aurora of Guido, 70 

Babst, M. Germain, quoted, 188 
Balloon Fans, 57, 113 
Balzac, quoted, 23, 305 
Bartolozzi, 96 
Battoir Fans, 86, 315 
Beggar's Opera, 178 
Bella, Stefano della, 108 
Blondel, 291 
Botanical Fans, 137 
Bouchot, Henri, quoted, 119 
Boulton and Watt, 337 
Brin, 315 

Bris6 Fans, 147, 315 
Broome, James, 260 
Burney, Miss Frances, quoted, 96 

Cabriolet Fans, 163, 315 
Callot, Jacques, 108 
Calpins, 261 
Camaieu, 315 
Canton, 201 
Capaigne, 27 

Caracci, Agostino, 109 

Care of fans, 315 

Catalogue of Fans, Schreiber 

Collection, 293 
Chapel Fan, 177 
Chapt, Baronne de, quoted, 303 
Charles II Fans in Walker 

Collection, 87 

Chassereau, Francis, 245, 259 
Chassereau, Francis, sen., 260 
Chicken skin, 235, 319 
Chinese Fans, 120 
Chinese Fans (carved), 207 
Chinese trade, 201 
Christina of Sweden, 304 
Church Fans, 138, 175 
Cipriani, 96 

Clarke, Robert, 259, 261 
Cochin, Nicolas, 108, 109 
Cock, Abraham, 260 
Cockade Fans, 320 
Coe, Thomas, 259 
Coe, William, 259 
Colour prints, 319 
Colour prints on silk, 191 
Coronation Fans, 133 
Coryat, quoted, 106 
Coventry, Lady, 95 
Covers for fans, 317 
Craftsman, quoted, 119 
Craon, Princess, 75 
Cut Vellum Fans, 187 




Daily Advertiser, quoted, go 
Dance Fans, 129 
Dieppe ivory workers, 220 
Dobson, Austin, quoted, 306 
Dutch embroidered fan, 190 
Dutch Fans, 205 

Embroidered Fans, 190 
Empire Fans, 61, 192, 227, 


English fan sticks, 222 
English Painted Fans, 87 
English printed fan leaves, 


de 1'Estoile, Pierre, quoted, 188 
Etching, 320 
Evelyn, quoted, 202, 330 
Expanding Fans, 195 

Fan boxes (Chinese), 209 
Fan leaves, printed, 105 
Fan Makers' Company, 89, 223 


Fan makers of Paris, 267 
Fan making, 237 
Feather Fans (Chinese), 205 
Feathers, 321 
Filigree (Chinese), 205 
Flory, M. A., quoted, 188 
French Printed Fans, in 

Gamble, M., 119, 129, 176, 178, 


Gauze Fans, 194 
Gelatine insertions, 194 
Gentleman's Magazine, quoted, 

89, i?5 
Glue, 233 

Goldfish pearl, 325 
Gorge, 325 
Gouache, 325 
Goupy, Jose, 93 
Grisaille, 325 
Guards, 325 
Guercino, in 

Hadwin, Abraham, 259 

Handles, 212 

Harlot's Progress, 137 

Head, 325 

History of England Fan, 137 

Hogarth, 137, 206 

H6rman, Christoph Frid n , 109 

Horn Fans (pierced), 162 

Importation of fans, 261 
Importation of sticks, 223 
" Industrial Arts of Spain," 85 
Italy, painted fan leaves, 65 
Ivory Fans (Chinese), 206 
Ivory Fans (pierced), 157 
Ivory sticks, 217 
Ivory to clean, 317 

Journal des Hommes Libres, 

quoted, 180 
Journal du Citoyen, quoted, 221 

Kauffmann, Angelica, 96 

Lacquer fan boxes, 209 
Lacquer Fans, 206 
Lacquered stocks, 223 
Lady's Magazine, quoted, 176 
Leaf, 325 
Lithography, 325 
Lorgnette Fans, 169 
Louis XIV Fan, 28 
Louis XIV, marriage of, 28 
Louis XV Fans, 41 
Louis XV sticks, 215 
Louis XVI Fans, 45, 114, 115, 

190, 207 
Louis XVI fansticks, 224 

Maps on printed leaves, 137 

"Malbrouk " Fans, 112 

" Mandarin " Fans, 203, 205, 


Marcel, M. Gabriel, 294 
Marriage Fans, 134. 182 



Mica insertions, 194 
Minuet Fans, 163 
Moncornet, Balthazar, 109 
Mosaique, 224, 328 
Mother-o'-pearl sticks, 217 
Motteaux, Peter, 260 
Mourning Fans, 179 
Mourning Fans, English, 180 
Mystery Fans, 168 

Napoleonic Fans, 119 
Neapolitan Fans, 75 
Nelson, subject of fan, 136 
Northcote, 298 

Opera Fans, 129, 196 
Origin of fan, Japanese legend, 

Origin of fan, Spanish version, 

Osborne, Thomas, 120 

Painted Fans in France, 27 

Panaches, 328 

Paper-making, 329 

Paste, 331 

Pen-and-ink drawings, 332 

Piercing saw, 239 

Pin, 332 

Piqu6, 332 

Piqu6 work, 215 

Poggi, 96 

Polly Peachum, 178 

Pompadour, Marquise de, 23, 


Pompeian Fans, 71 
Pope, Alexander, fan in honour, 

Preparation of materials for 

sticks, 239 

Printed Fans, French, in 
Printed fan leaves, English, 


Printed Silk Fans, 191 
Puzzle Fans, 163 

Queen Anne, 91, 255 
Queen Charlotte, 297 
Quilliet, 294 
Quizzing Fans, 169 

Rake's Progress, 137 
Redgrave, S., 294 
Repair of fans, 316 
Rhead, G. Wooliscroft, 293 
Riafio, Seflor Juan, F. quoted, 


Ribbon, 332 
Rivet, 333 
Rococo, 335 
Rococo sticks, 215 
Romano, Guilio, in 
Rondot, M. Natalis, quoted, 

183, 291 

Salway, Mrs., 294 

Satin applique decoration, 


Schreiber, Lady Charlotte, 293 
Screen Fans, 321 
Screen Fans, silk, 190 
Shoulder, 336 
Silk Fans, 190 
Simmonds, Joseph, 259 
Simmonds, Richard, 255 
Spain, painted fan leaves in, 


Spangles, 173 

Spangled decoration, 190, 193, 


Spectator, quoted, 308, 309 
Steel, quoted, 306 
Stickmaker's skill, 218 
Stick, 337 
Sticks, 212 

Tassels, 208 
Tatler, quoted, 306 
Theatre Fans, 196 
Theatrical Fans, 177 
Ticquet, 182 




Topographical ornament, 107 
Tortoiseshell sticks, 217 
Trade cards, 245 

Uzanne, quoted, 174, 221, 292, 

Vecellio, 294 

Vellum Fans, 65 

Vernis Martin, 147, 205, 227 

Victories, fans in honour of, 


Views on Fans, 136 

Walker Collection, 29 
Walker Sale, 87 

Walker Sale Catalogue, 292 
Walpole, Horace, quoted, 75, 

95, 163 

Water colour, 338 
Wedding Fans, 134. 182 
Wedgwood Jasper Ware, 49, 

194, 225 

West, John, 260 
West, Sir Benjamin, 96 
Westminster Journal, quoted, 


" Whalebone " Fans, 162, 338 
Wooden Fans (pierced), 161 
Woods, 338 

Xavery, Francis, 27 

Printed in Great Britain by 






Fercival, Maclver 
The fan book